We can put data sources we deal with under the following headings in ascending order of sophistication.
Paper map. This will need to be scanned to create a digital image and geographically registered to be usable online. At this level it won’t be possible to query the information in any way but it can be made available worldwide for anyone who can read the map to see it set in its correct geographical location relative to other data. Hopefully the legend can be scanned and then this can also be made available.
A spatial raster or vector data file with simple properties for each grid point or spatial object. For example Shapefiles, GeoPackage and GeoTIFF.
Spatially enabled database with possibly multiple table joins to particular spatial data fields.