Software Carpentry

Helping scientists make better software since 1997

How Important is Geospatial Data to You?

Software Carpentry currently teaches students how to manipulate text (using regular expressions), XML (using DOM), relational data (with SQL), and binary data. A decade ago, when we first put the course together, that covered everything I’d ever seen more than one or two scientists use. Today, though, an increasing number are using geospatial (map) data as well.  How important is this to your work?  If the answer is “very”, what data do you work with, what do you do with it, and what would you like to be able to do?

Written by Greg Wilson

2009/08/26 at 18:31

Posted in Content

4 Responses

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  1. VERY. I work with remote sensing data all the time…huge data sets that I often want to overlay and compare. The challenge with spatial data is not in working with one data set, but in combining multiple data sets in meaningful ways.

    Sarah Henderson

    2009/08/26 at 20:53

  2. Thanks Sarah. What format(s) are you datasets in? What tools do you use to manipulate them? Is it all off-the-shelf software, or do you write scripts or programs to do what you want?


    2009/08/26 at 23:22

  3. UTM has a fairly strong GIS department that may be able to help you get some info. Let me know if you’d like an introduction.

    The GIS community seems to be doing a lot in Python. Here’s one example:

    Andrew Petersen

    2009/08/27 at 14:56

  4. Very important, too.

    Input Formats:
    * Vector: ASCII-Text (xyz), Shapefiles
    * Raster: TIFF, JPEG, SRTM, GMT
    * Attribute data: dbf, csv, xls/odt

    Want to do:
    * interpolation of point data to maps
    (like matplotlib.mpl_toolkist.basemap)
    * creation of web formats: KML, JSON, GML
    * use GIS functionality vias GRASS/QGIS interface
    * overlay/intersection with of one data set with other data
    * topology &neighbourhood analysis
    * map plotting
    * geostatistics
    * remote sensing: classification, segementation analysis, terrain analysis.

    Thanks for brining upthis important topic!


    2009/08/29 at 15:26

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