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Session 2: Fundamentals of geospatial data

Session Rules

  • Chat questions/comments take first priority - Chat your question/comments either to everyone (preferred) or to the chat moderator (Ryan Lucas) privately to have your question/comment read out loud anonymously. We will answer chat questions first and call on people who have written in the chat before we take questions from raised hands.
  • Share your video when speaking - If your internet plan/connectivity allows, please share your video when speaking.
  • Keep yourself on mute - Please mute yourself when not speaking.

Learning objectives

With only one hour, we are limited in how many geospatial basics we can cover. Since this workshop is geared towards addressing computationally expensive geospatial analyses, we will prioritize content relevant to that topic to provide foundation for the tutorials in upcoming sessions. Please see the links listed in Session 11 for additional geospatial training opportunities.

  • Classify geospatial data as raster or vector
  • Recognize geospatial operations that can be computationally expensive
  • Identify if a geospatial operation has:
    • many independent tasks
    • some locally-dependent tasks
    • one or few globally-dependent tasks


This session will be a lecture with slides covering the following content:

  • Define scope and objectives: content most relevant to computational concerns
  • Raster data
    • Structure, file formats, and I/O concerns
    • Common computationally expensive operations
  • Vector data
    • Geometry types, file formats, and I/O concerns
    • Common computationally expensive operations
  • Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

Watch a recording of this presentation.