When talking about 3D data we often think about high end fancy visualizations that give that wow factor where you can barely tell the difference between what is real and what is digital. In the spatial sciences industry we are not normally concerned with the Ultra High Definition graphics, Ray Tracing, and photorealistic texturing; normally we settle for much less because we only need the basics for analysis…
Parochialism is a common phenomenon among specialists. Ask any specialist why they’re interested in their area and they will no doubt answer with a sweeping string of superlatives and generalisations as to why their chosen specialty is absolutely fundamental to our understanding of humanity.
The geospatial industry is guilty of this too—within the world of data we push the value of location to the very forefront of our thinking.
If you’re a data consumer, saying the word “metadata” conjures images of pages and pages of CKAN search results (data.gov.au anyone?), field after field of inscrutable information, and you’re just trying to find that download link or an email contact buried somewhere in the mess of information.
When we come to depict any spatial data in GIS, from physical assets and locations to real-world events and trends, there are two differing systems to display data; Raster and Vector representations. Both of these methods present data in their own format, with their own advantages and disadvantages.