Collecting geospatial information

There are two forms in which geospatial information can be collected: (1) shapefiles and (2) geospatial spreadsheets.

(1) Shapefiles

In this video, we show how shapefiles work, and what you need to look for when you are asked to collect geospatial information. Here are some additional links, if you are interested to learn more:

  • QGIS - an open source program to open and edit shapefiles
  • Wikipedia page on shapefiles - general introduction to shapefiles
  • Natural Earth - open source shapefiles on many different topics
  • Mapshaper - website where you can upload shapefiles and see what they look like, which makes it possible to quickly verify your files without installing any program

How to process shapefiles

(2) Geospatial spreadsheets

In contrast to shapefiles, geospatial spreadsheets provide information for points on a map. This could for example be mines, farms, ports, waste treatment infrastructure.

When you are asked to collect information in the form of geospatial spreadsheets, be sure to provide their location information in the right format. In the CityLoops Data Hub, we make use of latitude, longitude information. So unlike an address, which is also useful in getting the latitude longitude data, we are asking for coordinates of the location.

How to process geospatial spreadsheets