I hope i'm not totally wrong with this kind of question at this stackexchange page. Is there any sort of service avaiable that gives me (or allows me somehow to generate) the areatype to a coordinate? Something like (lat,long) -> position is at a beach. I need this kind of data on a more or less global scale, but "only" at those places, where you have at least a gsm (not satallite) connection - so "only" those areas that are more or less close to populated places.

The closest thing i've found would be to analyse map pictures and store the results, which doesn't seem very elegant to me and probably would take alot of time. Is their any better option avaiable?

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    What are the possible types of 'area type' that you are expecting? Are you looking for something like Land Use/Land Cover? What is your Area of Interest? The entire earth? or a particular continent? What kind of accuracy and resolution do you want? – Devdatta Tengshe Aug 19 '13 at 16:07
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    Define 'beach'? at high tide there is less beach than at low tide. See a previous question stackoverflow.com/questions/9644452/… – Mapperz Aug 19 '13 at 16:12
  • okay... yes... beach might be a bad example :D Something like beach (high tide), grassland/field, city and forest would be enough. Better accuracy would be of cause be better. But i guess something like 50m would be fine too. The area of interest would be everywhere, where you have mobile internet. But ofcause the more "far away" the place is, the less is it's importance – CAA Aug 19 '13 at 16:26
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    There are any number of land cover datasets, but you have to define your question better! i.e. scale: do you want the 'exact' classification at a given point, or the 'typical' land type found in the area? Classification: there are many ways of classifying land (is a beach 'sand', 'coastal', 'fine sand', 'recreational area', etc.). – Simbamangu Sep 19 '13 at 12:33
  • something where a normal human (so no knowledge about different sand types and so on) would say "hey, thats a beach" would be detailed enough as a classification. – CAA Sep 21 '13 at 20:55

You could try to use OSM data, which is on a more or less global scale. They offer keys for landuse and landcover.

For the extraction of a specific point or area you could use the Overpass API. An example extraction would be like this, though you would also want to search for areas, which is described in this article.


Well, you will probably have to get your hands on data that has this information.

My guess is that the data would be polygons in a simple feature format (e.g. a shapefile).

If that's the case, a simple spatial query in any spatial database/GIS tool will give you the polygon information.

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    As I Understand it, the OP is asking for a database or an API that can provide this API; I don't see how your answer answers the question? – Devdatta Tengshe Aug 19 '13 at 16:16
  • exactly. I need to get my hands on this kind of data. But from where do i get it? – CAA Aug 19 '13 at 16:19
  • Not sure where to get this data. Mobile companies probably maintain their own data. Practices may also be different from country to country. OpenSignal collects their own data, maybe their API can be of interest ? developer.opensignal.com – Oyvind Aug 19 '13 at 16:40

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