Geoinformatics application in agriculture and resilience

Geoinformatics application in agriculture and resilience


10 February – 28 February 2019. ICARDA Cairo, Egypt. Geospatial technologies is a term used to
describe the range of modern tools contributing to the geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human societies. Especially in the last decade, these technologies have evolved into a network of national security, scientific, and commercially operated satellites complemented by powerful desktop GIS.

High quality hardware and data is now available to new audiences such as universities, corporations, and non-governmental organizations. The fields and sectors deploying these technologies are currently growing at a rapid pace, informing decision makers on topics such as industrial engineering, biodiversity conservation, forest fire suppression, agricultural monitoring, humanitarian relief, and much more.

Geospatial technology is used mostly for surveying and mapping of plantation crops. At the micro level implementation of geospatial tools is mainly used for mapping of ground water resources, drainage patterns, variable rate application and management of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Geospatial technologies play an influential role in the agriculture sector by increasing yields, managing of resources, prediction of outcomes and improving farm practices.

A course organised by ICARDA for young scientists provided an overview on Geospatial Science, Technology and Applications in Agriculture. Key components of the course included lectures, discussions, interactive and hands-on computer exercises, and individual projects.

Overarching goal of this course was to introduce a state of the art of geoinformatics platform for pursuing research, outputs and outcome generation. Through this lecture cum practice-based training helps scientists

  1. to understand potential application of remote sensing/GIS applications; and 
  2. to learn the general image processing and GIS operation to extract and manage spatial information.
The participants came from Iraq (*3), Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa. 3 participants form Iraqm Tunesia and SouthAfrica/Zimbabwe were asked how this course would benefit their work back home.

Mapping Annual Cropland Using Reference Landsat Time Series in Central Asia

Chandrashekhar Biradar (ICARDA) co-authored a paper on the mapping of annual cropland in Central Asia. Published in the Remote Sensing journal, the study used a reference time-series-based mapping method (RBM) to create binary cropland vs. non-cropland maps using irregular Landsat time series. This method was applied in seven distinct agricultural landscapes in Xinjiang, China, and the Aral Sea Basin. The authors found that the accuracy of this study was higher than 85% and also significantly more accurate than existing products, such as GLC30 and FROM–GLC.

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