Geospatial data (also referred to as geomatics) is data collected about elements of natural, built, social and economic environments in association with a geographic location. Geospatial surveying technology collects and analyses that data which can then be used for purposes, including land surveying and engineering.
The term geospatial is used primarily in the United States. The term geomatics has been adopted by the International Organisation for Standardisation, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and other international authorities.
Geospatial is defined under ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatic, which covers the standardisation of digital geographic information (such as those in geospatial and geographic information systems).The ISO/TC 211 work is closely related to the efforts of the Open Geospatial Consortium.
Geospatial operates on an open standard developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium and supported by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Because of its open format, the data is collected in a standardised format and can come from a wide range of sources (such as GPS data, satellites and geotagging), as long the geospatial open standard is used.
Both systems capture, map, manage and visualise information according to its location in space and time. However, GIS is not inherently standardised and requires additional work in order to combine various types of data from different sources.
It is possible to integrate geospatial with building information modelling (BIM) systems, particularly in situations where it is important to incorporate the environmental impact of a design into a proposed model.