More and more people around the world are increasingly encountering geographic data in various kinds of vector, raster or tabular formats in their professional and private lives.
There are situations when you need to process spatial data quickly and efficiently by making various extractions, simplifications or clipping for proper visualization or easier further work with it. However, you don’t have a sophisticated desktop GIS application or don’t want to run it for simple processing of geodata. In these cases, the new Geoprocessing Online can help.
By releasing Geoprocessing Online, GeoCzech, Inc. builds on more than a decade of success with MyGeodata Cloud web services. The new website with a variety of different tools for GIS data processing responds to requests from users of the MyGeodata Cloud Converter service, which has been used by over 3 million users so far. Besides common conversions of vector and raster geodata formats, users are increasingly demanding various more sophisticated conversions and data processing that are difficult to implement in current Converter. This demand has resulted in the development of a modern platform for GIS/CAD professionals, including businesses and enthusiastic individuals, that provides a suite of powerful but easy-to-use tools designed to help prepare geodata to meet the exact needs of a project. Its concept is based on the current trend of working online in a cloud environment.
Currently, 16 tools are available to users for working with vector, raster and tabular geodata, and others are continuously being developed. Below are some of the most popular tools.
Google Location History – extract visited places & Geotagged photos to KMZ
The most popular tools so far are those focused on travel-related memories. If you’d like to remind yourself what places you’ve visited, there are two interesting tools to help you. These tools are not exactly for GIS professionals, but can of course also help e.g. utility managers with their field work.
The first one allows to get the places you’ve visited from Google location history data and make the most of the location data recorded by your smartphone. Just upload KML/JSON files downloaded from the Google Takeout website and set the necessary parameters. You’ll get a perfect overview of the places you have visited and can further work with the resulting data in spreadsheets or GIS software and see where you’ve been during a family vacation, business trips or during fieldwork.
Another tool places your geotagged photos on the map. You can view the resulting KMZ or KML file in Google Earth, where pins will appear where you took the photos, and clicking on them will display the photos you took.
But we often need to display on the map not only photos from vacation, but also pictures from field work, which we took during some measurements or various outdoor work.
DEM from SRTM
Another popular tool lets you download high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) from SRTM NASA project. DEMs are often needed in a wide range of applications where description of the terrain geometry is required, such as flood or landslide hazard assessment spatial analysis like location of a telecommunication tower or a new plant, as well as image orthorectification. The tool allows you to define an area of interest and download the DEM in one of the many available raster formats. The resulting DEM can also be transformed into all common coordinate systems.
Tools to reduce the size of vector data
Different tools can be combined to achieve ideal results, e.g. to achieve the most efficient reduction of vector data size. There are many reasons why data size reduction is necessary. Some applications like Google Earth or Google Maps don’t allow uploading large data, it’s easy to fill the local disk or cloud storage with unnecessarily large spatial data, and it’s also very difficult to work with such large data (load / edit / analyze) due to the high demands on system resources (CPU, memory, …).
Geoprocessing Online offers several ways to get a much smaller vector file. You can clip the vector layer just to the essential part, split your datasets by polygons, reduce the geometric accuracy of vector layers or reduce unnecessarily high accuracy of coordinates. You can use one of the methods described above or combine them for even greater size reduction.
Future of the platform
The platform continues to develop with a focus on widening the range of options. Soon you can look forward to all tools being available via APIs. Because the system is modular, creating, implementing and publishing new tools is easy. Therefore, specific tools can be created at the user’s request, and in the future users will be able to create and publish their own tools using Python and a wide range of libraries.