Last edited 21 Oct 2022

Unstructured data

The Geospatial Glossary, published by the Geospatial Commission, and accessed on 17 September 2022, defines unstructured data as: ‘Any document, file, graphic, image, text, report, form, video, or sound recording that has not been tagged or otherwise structured into rows and columns or records. This term has some inaccurate connotations, as there is usually some structure (for instance, paragraphs and chapters) in these formats.’

This is as opposed to structured data which has been defined and organised in such a manner that it’s searchable, immediately identifiable and machine readable within an electronic file. It must be:

  • Defined in a standardised way, for example, identified by naming conventions.
  • Presented in a standardised format.
  • Transferrable and translatable between users of the data and their software choices.

Ref Digitisation for construction product manufacturers: a plain language guide, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in 2021.

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