Data researcher Filipe Batista e Silva seems to have found a solution for this. By combining data from multiple traditional (statistical) and new open access information sources, the so-called data fusion process, research questions about spatial arrangements and socio-economic activities are not only answered with greater precision and scope but also provide higher resolution for the interactive maps and are cost effective.
An unprecedented example that Batista e Silva developed with this in his research is the mapping of the likely European population density in different seasons of the year and at different times of the day with high spatial resolution for the entire European Union. This could only be made possible by combining official statistical data on the number of inhabitants, workers, students and tourists with the location of services and infrastructure (e.g. residential, industrial and commercial areas, schools, hotels, etc.) from many geospatial data sources.
The results of these new forms of geospatial data go beyond the production of more beautiful digital maps about land use, population distribution or economic infrastructures. Batista e Silva's research compiles new information from structured data fusion approaches, enabling new insights into the spatial dimension of socio-economic phenomena and better supporting decision-making processes.
Read his research here.