Integrating Research and Education > Teaching with GeoPads > How to Use GeoPads > Data > Data Resources

Data Resources

Digital data suitable for use in GeoPad applications comes in three principle types and is widely available from a range sources both nationally and internationally. The key data types are:

Thematic Data

Thematic data consists of a set of related features that are included within a single data subset. In other words, data of a common theme is generally grouped and organized within a single file structure. Within a drafting or GIS program, thematic data is grouped within a single layer (e.g., geologic units, state boundaries, soil class, etc.). A thematic map is designed to convey information about a single topic or theme, such as national highway map or a geologic map. The Thematic Data page will take you to a list of resources for collecting useful thematic data to build your own GeoPad exercises.

Topographic Data

Most geologic mapping exercises are conducted with the use of a topographic map, which is a map that represents the vertical and horizontal position of topographic features or shows relief in some measurable form such as contour lines, hypsometric tints, and or relief shading. Topographic data comes in many digital forms and file formats. The Topographic Data page will take you to a list of online digital resources and provide additional information on the range of available and easy to use formats.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing data consists of images that are constructed from data that is gathered without actual contact with the object being investigated. The most common example would be satellite imagery (Landsat, MODIS, GOES, etc.). This type of data also includes aerial and satellite photography, seismic and ground penetrating radar data, multi-spectral LiDAR data, etc. The Remote Sensing page provides links to key resources for acquiring a range of remotely sensed data already processed into usable and common geospatial reference frames.

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