Data Observatory

Data Observatory

Getting started

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:


Data subscriptions

Check out the following guides to learn how to find and subscribe to Data Observatory datasets:

Data access and analysis

You can access your subscriptions directly from your data warehouses connected to CARTO. The Data Observatory is currently supported for BigQuery and Snowflake; Redshift and Databricks support is coming soon.

Access information can be checked through the Access in button available in the dataset’s detail page. Please refer to this step-by-step guide to learn more.

Data Observatory access in menu.
Data Observatory access in details.

The Analytics Toolbox for BigQuery and Snowflake offer 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.

Data Observatory enrichment example using the Analytics Toolbox for Bigquery.

Please check out the following resources to learn more:

Data visualization

Data Observatory datasets can be visualized from the CARTO Workspace using Builder. You can easily do so by clicking on the Create map action in the subscription’s detail page, available from the Data Observatory section of the Data Explorer:

Using Builder to create a map from Data Observatory data.
Data Observatory example map in Builder.

Or by adding a new Data Observatory source to an existing map:

Adding a Data Observatory subscription to an existing map

Those datasets whose size is within platform limits will be visualized in full. Bigger datasets will be applied a spatial filter (a buffer around the centroid of the most populated city of the dataset’s country) and will require a tileset to be visualized in full.

Data Observatory example map in Builder.

Please refer to this guide to learn more on how to visualize Data Observatory datasets using Builder.