The main concepts in managing your data

The platform provides you with the tools to analyze your location data. As a first step, before you can start analyzing, you will need to tell the platform about your data.

This article introduces the main concepts used by the platform to manage data.

Data sets, background layers and areas of interest

  • Data sets: when you upload your location data to the platform, it will be stored inside a dataset.

    You create a new data set for each collection of .csv files with location records you have. For example, it can be a set of files containing GPS records of cars.

    The data in the data set can be styled, filtered and queried.

    See the different types of data sets article for an overview of all the data sets the platform supports.

  • Background layers: provide context to your data and will be shown on the spatial map behind your location data. Currently, we support .geojson files, data from a OGC WMS server and Mapbox layers.

    Example background layers are aerial imagery, road networks, building floor plans, etc.

    You cannot interact with background layers.

  • Areas of interest: the analysis tools allow filtering on specific areas. These areas can be defined by drawing them on the map, or by uploading a .geojson file as area of interest layer.

    Examples are anchorage areas near ports, shopping stress, or road crossings.


To analyze your location data, you will need to add it to a project. A project combines data sets, areas of interest and background layers and makes them available to the analysis tools.

Figure 1. The relationship between data sets, background layers, areas of interest and projects
You can add the same resource to multiple projects

You can add the same data set, background layer or area of interest to multiple projects.

You can also add or remove data sets, background layers or areas of interest from/to a project afterwards.

Different options for GeoJSON data: background layer, area of interest layer or data set

GeoJSON data (.geojson files) can be added as either background layer, area of interest layer or as a data set. Your use-case determines what the best option is.

The following table highlights the differences between the three.

Background layer Area of interest Data set

Visible on the spatial map

Selectable on the spatial map

Can be used as spatial filter

Can be used as area to compute statistics

Dynamic styling, based on the properties in the data

Dynamic filtering, based on the properties in the data

Starting an analysis

To start analyzing your data, you need the following steps:

  1. Upload your location data .csv files into a data set if they aren’t included in an existing data set yet.

  2. Optionally, create background layers and areas of interests that you want to use.

  3. Create a new project.

  4. Include your data set in the project, as well as any background layers or areas of interest you want to use. At this point, your project can be used on the different analytical pages.

  5. Navigate to the analysis page you want to use.

For each of those steps, we have articles available with detailed instructions.

Working with data sets