Logo preload
close Logo

How to build data visualizations with geospatial technology

December 28, 2023

An added benefit to our increased ability to collect geospatial data is our equally heightened ability to display it. When we combine data collection solutions with geospatial technology, we can enhance how our data is communicated. In effect, we can create dynamic data visualizations.

Data visualization turns raw data into graphic representations. Presenting data findings in graphic form makes them easier to understand, and also more engaging. For instance, when presenting data about an electrical grid, we can include multiple layers of information together. Population drift, size increase, and time of use data can all be displayed to paint a much more complete picture.

Visual representations of data make it easier to communicate large volumes of information to a wide variety of stakeholders. Planning for major road projects, for example, produces a huge amount of data about potential terrain, traffic patterns, water tables, and more. In spreadsheet form, that data is difficult to visualize. But in graphic form, that same information is immediately comprehensible. And the more data stakeholders understand the more informed decisions they make.

Collect and collate

Today, we can use geospatial technology to gather an incredible amount of location-specific information. Using remote sensors, satellites, the Internet of Things, and mobile devices, we can collect and collate an immense amount of contextual data. That data might itself be static, meaning it remains the same after being recorded, like an item of inventory. On the other hand, data might be dynamic, constantly in flux like traffic patterns.

Now, we can use geospatial technology’s capabilities to craft informative data representations. Dynamic visualizations automatically adjust with data updates. In other words, they self-alter in response to any new inputs. Built from flexible templates, dynamic visualizations capture up-to-the-minute changes. As such, they effectively communicate complex spatial information, presenting it in a variety of compelling formats, including:

  • Animated charts and graphs. Bar graphs, pie charts, etc., present real-time measurements in an immediately understandable format.
  • Dashboards. Users can personalize dashboard components, interacting with the parameters they need most.
  • Infographics. Dynamic infographics use animations, icons, and images to display information engagingly.
  • Maps. Interactive and compelling, maps allow users to connect with and process the world around them.
  • Timelines. A chronological overview is an excellent way to visualize changes over time.

When we present data in digestible visual form, we drastically improve our ability to analyze and interpret it. Colors, images, and shapes allow users to not only rapidly categorize information but also retain more. In addition, interactive elements like animations increase user engagement.

Worker performing field inspection using a tablet - How to build data visualizations with geospatial technology

Why time matters

Graphic visualizations of geospatial data give users an immediate and immersive view of geographic context. Stakeholders can use that context to surface underlying trends. When the information is laid out in visual terms rather than as numbers on a spreadsheet, patterns are immediately apparent. Equally important, representations can be scaled up or down, made simpler or more complex depending on the intended audience.

Time is a key factor in surfacing patterns. Modern geospatial technology platforms allow field collection teams to add time as well as location data to traditional datasets. This gives organizations the ability to create incredibly effective and engaging visual maps of changes and context over time.

Comparing the past to the present lets businesses perform thorough risk analysis when forecasting. Future-proof strategies funnel information through a far-seeing and imaginative lens. Integrating geospatial data with advanced visualization tools gives businesses a two-fold advantage: not only can they craft better stories, but they can also create more informed strategies.

Making better decisions

The synergy between geospatial technology and data visualizations boosts not only comprehension but also informed decision-making. Both within and across industries, organizations can use dynamic visualizations to derive actionable insights. By using geospatial data to compare past and present conditions, organizations can analyze risks and anticipate future needs. They can then use this knowledge to drive innovation in their respective operations and create long-term strategies.

Modern geospatial technology solutions go far beyond capturing location coordinates. Today, we can discover not only where locations are, but also how the world interacts with them. Integrating these many layers of geospatial data illustrates the relationships between place, population, and purpose. We use those relationships to mitigate health crises, predict weather events, streamline supply chains, and more.

Thus, it is crucial to present geospatial data in a manner designed to maximize comprehension: in intuitive and user-friendly visualizations. The most effective graphic representations start with efficient data collection. To be most successful, collect data in advanced and flexible platforms that allow for both collaboration and immediate updates. Effective platforms should integrate seamlessly with email, Esri ArcGIS, SMS, and other useful programs.

Elevating geospatial data visualization with Fulcrum

Fulcrum’s geospatial technology solution allows organizations to capture data quickly and easily. Additionally, Fulcrum’s agnostic platform permits teams to instantaneously share real-time updates, increasing both accuracy and productivity. Combining Fulcrum’s advanced data collection with state-of-the-art visualization tools can help organizations build dynamic data visualizations. Appealing and highly digestible, data visualizations provide a comprehensive view of geospatial trends and patterns. Forward-thinking organizations can use those representations to inform their decision-making processes and drive future innovation.

Data visualizations help companies present a wide variety of geospatial information in an easily understandable form. Talk to one of our experts today to discover how Fulcrum can help your organization build the most effective graphic representations.