Steve Isaac

2019's Top Location Intelligence and Spatial Stories

As many of our readers know, every Tuesday morning, the CARTO 5 newsletter delivers the latest stories, tips and tricks, tech updates, and of course, cool maps from around the worlds of Location Intelligence and Spatial Data Science.

To celebrate the end of another year, we wanted to quickly share some of the most-clicked articles from the newsletter! Make sure to subscribe today to keep up with all the latest in 2020!

News and New Tech

From spatial industry mergers and acquisitions, to strategic and technological shifts at some of the world’s largest tech players, there was a lot of news to digest for geospatial fans this year. Take a look at some of the most clicked news stories and articles discussing the latest technologies.

News and New Tech


Learning Resources and Scholarship

From reading lists to academic talks, there was a ton of material released this year for those taking a DIY approach to boosting their knowledge. This section features the articles and stories that our readers enjoyed as they looked to boost their spatial analysis, data visualization, GIS, and data science skills.

Learning Resources and Scholarship


  • Best Data Visualization Courses 2019 - This guide breaks down some of the courses available for those looking to bolster their visualization bona fides. Options are available for coders and non-coders alike!
  • 15 Data Science Slack Communities to Join - Looking to build your network and beef up your data science street cred? This list of Data Science Slack communities curated by Towards Data Science and Formulated.by is sure to help!
  • Map Books of 2019 - For those in need of some new cartographic content for their library or looking for the perfect gift for the map-lovers in their lives, Map Room shares some of the "map books" already out or coming out this year!
  • Skills Needed to Become a GIS Professional - Looking to boost your skills and become a geospatial pro? Author and GIS expert Víctor Olaya details the areas to work on to achieve your goals.
  • If You're a Developer Transitioning Into Data Science, Here Are Your Best Resources - From Machine Learning workflows, to online courses, to the most useful textbooks, this post shares dozens of resources for the aspiring data scientist.
  • Visualization and Analysis of Deeply Geotemporal Data - Dr. Michael Flaxman discusses the analysis of, and utility for, what he refers to as Deeply Geotemporal Data (DGT), the combination of spatial and temporal data produced at an extremely high granularity.
  • Top 7 Python Web Scraping Tools for Data Scientists - Don't miss out on reading more about the top seven web scraping frameworks in Python. Beautiful Soup is a Python library for pulling data out of HTML and XML files.
  • Spatial Data Science for the Uninitiated - More on what exactly spatial data is and the various types of data such as raster data and vector data. Learn more about how spatial data is analyzed through coding languages and see some examples of how it is used.
  • Five Myths About Location Intelligence - As with any burgeoning field, there is a level of misunderstanding, rumor, and myth that swirls around any discussion of Location Intelligence. This article in Geospatial World breaks down some of these common misconceptions.
  • 9 Common Mistakes That Lead to Data Bias - They say knowing is half the battle. In that case, keeping in mind these mistakes that lead to data bias will go a long way to mitigating the impacts of bias in your models.
  • A Roundup of Geospatial Podcasts - Looking to dive deeper into geospatial? This list of over a dozen podcasts from GIS Lounge will help you keep your thumb on the pulse of the industry during your down time!

New Data Sets

Whether you are hoping to enrich your spatial data and analysis by introducing new features and variables, or you are looking for interesting patterns in human behavior, new, clean datasets are the fuel that powers your efforts. We featured a number of newly released datasets in the CARTO 5 this year.

New Data Sets


Cool Maps

Some of the most beloved stories shared by the CARTO 5 are those that feature amazing maps and data visualizations. With a varied and diverse audience of GIS professionals, Data Scientists, Spatial Analysts, Industry Leaders, and more, it is no surprise that these showcases of both the latest in mapping technology and creative expressions of data are particularly compelling.

Cool Maps


  • Information is Beautiful Awards 2018: The Winners - Kantar's annual awards always features the most stunning visualizations of the year (some of which you may have already seen here, and around the web). Take a few minutes to bask in 2018's most beautiful visual representations of data today.
  • Canadian Geographic's Best Maps of 2018 - Cartographic highlights from Canadian Geographic's 2018 issues include unique views of mountains, rivers, caves, and environmental impacts on the country's native fauna.
  • How Leonardo Da Vinci Made a "Satellite" Map in 1502 - Check out this video on Leonardo da Vinci's ichnographic map, which transformed cartography to include more tactical applications.
  • The Atlas of Unusual Borders - Released just last week, this new atlas takes a magnifying glass to the globe, examining and telling the stories of some of the world's unique border oddities and cartographic conundrums.
  • Quiz: Can You Identify There World Cities From Their Density Maps Alone? - Think you know the shape of things? This quiz from The Guardian will see just how well you know the population density shapes of some of the world's largest cities.
  • Why Vultures Don't Like Borders? - Turns out vultures don't like Portugal… This story is a powerful highlight of how Location Intelligence can elucidate how our world works and the ways that human activity can impact nature in unforeseen ways.
  • Monocarto 2019 Winners - Cartographers from around the world pulled out all the stops in their submissions to MonoCarto 2019 (formerly known as the Monochrome Mapping Competition). Take a look at the winners today!

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About the author
Steve Isaac

Content Marketing Manager at CARTO.

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