Types of Data

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Vector Data

Vector data comprises of vertices and paths. These include points (hospitals), lines (roads) and polygons (areas). Vector data can be in various data formats, these include:

  • KML, KMZ (often used in Google Earth or other web GIS programs)
  • Shape File (.shp) this is the standard file format for vector data and will contain only a single dataset
  • Geodatabase (.gdb) these will contain multiple datasets simultaneously.

Raster Data

Raster data is made up of pixels (also referred to as grid cells). Raster’s often look pixelated because each pixel is associated with a value or a class. Rasters include satellite and UAV/UAS imagery, elevation data models, etc. Common raster file formats are:

  • .jpeg, .png, .tiff, .bmp

GIS Spatial Data Types: Vector vs Raster