The Data Observatory is a spatial data platform that enables you to augment your data with the latest and greatest in spatial data. With a catalog of thousands of spatial datasets from public and premium sources that have been vetted by our Data team, the Data Observatory provides a streamlined process to reduce the operational inefficiencies of discovering, licensing, and accessing spatial data.
We strongly recommend reading through the Terminology section to get familiar with all the components of the Data Observatory.
In the following sections you will find a collection of resources where you can learn how to:
- subscribe to Data Observatory data,
- access and introduce the data in your analysis workflows,
- visualize it.
Check out the following guides to learn how to find and subscribe to Data Observatory datasets:
Data access and analysis
From your CARTO Dashboard
Data Observatory datasets that are smaller than 2GB are synced into a table in your CARTO account upon subscription. You can identify these tables as those with a
You can access these tables from any of the tools available in your CARTO Dashboard, including Builder, where you can create custom dashboards and analyses. Read more in this guide.
Our Python library CARTOframes is a great tool to access Data Observatory datasets of any size from your Python code or notebook. To get started, please refer to this guide from the CARTOframes documentation page or download the example notebook provided in the Your subscriptions page of the Dashboard.
CARTOframes also offers a set of functions to enrich your datasets with any of the variables from your Data Observatory subscriptions by performing a spatial join between them and your own data. Enrichment is an essential step to incorporate Data Observatory data into your spatial analysis workflows. You can learn more in this guide.
From your cloud data storage or warehouse
You can also access your subscriptions directly from BigQuery, AWS, or Azure. Refer to this step-by-step guide to learn more. If you are a BigQuery user, you can also leverage the Spatial Extension for BigQuery to perform spatial analysis using your Data Observatory datasets without leaving your BigQuery console.
From your CARTO Dashboard
Data Observatory datasets that are smaller than 2GB can be visualized within Builder. You can easily do so by clicking on the Create map action in the Your subscriptions page of the Dashboard.
Our Python library CARTOframes allows you to create and embed interactive maps with your CARTO data, including Data Observatory datasets, directly from your notebooks. Please refer to this guide to learn more.
Some of the spatial datasets offered in the Data Observatory are massive (a few TB), either due to their global coverage, such as WorldPop or NASADEM, or their fine granularity, such as ACS Sociodemographics at census block group level, and their visualization requires the creation of tilesets using the Spatial Extension for BigQuery.
To create your own Data Observatory tilesets, from either your public or premium subscriptions, simply find the location of your subscription in BigQuery using the “Access in BigQuery” functionality and run the Tiler from your console. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you through the process.