A public-private partnership develops a remote sensing product to assess vegetation conditions using satellite imagery and help to predict the locations of locust breeding grounds. The imagery, from the UK-DMC2 satellite, is used in conjunction with weather data to help create locust forecasts and focus the application of pesticides to prevent the spread of swarms. In a six-month summer campaign to fight the spread of locusts, monthly images of regions in Southern Algeria, Northern Mali and Northern Niger were acquired and used to test the system. Now, imagery is being acquired before the summer season starts, to predict as well as monitor the threat of locusts. (British Association of Remote Sensing Companies - BARSC, 8/04/20103)
A new method developed by the National Institute for Space Research of Brazil, STARS (Spectral-Temporal Analysis by Response Surface), can speed up the process of satellite mapping of agricultural areas. The new methodology is capable of describing, automatically, the spectral behaviour of different targets on the Earth´s surface in various ranges of electromagnetic spectrum. The STARS allows integrating images from different sensors at any time intervals and can be used in various applications. The method is able to detect changes in the spectral behaviour as a result of human intervention such as harvesting sugar cane or deforestation. (Geospatial World, 10/04/2013)
After gathering data on the distribution of Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) plants, CIAT has begun to map the distribution of CWR and their conservation concerns. The resulting gap analysis will inform subsequent collecting and breeding efforts under the ‘Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting, and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives’ project, led by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Millennium Seed Bank. Gap analysis results have been completed for nearly 500 CWR taxa related to 29 globally important crops, including maps displaying distributions, patterns of richness, and areas worldwide where CWR are particularly in need of collecting for conservation and in order to be made accessible for breeding efforts.http://dapa.ciat.cgiar.org/distributions-and-conservation-concerns-for-the-wild-relatives-of-major-crops-mapped-2/(CIAT DAPA, 11/04/2013)
A new method developed by the National Institute for Space Research of Brazil, STARS (Spectral-Temporal Analysis by Response Surface), can speed up the process of satellite mapping of agricultural areas.http://www.geospatialworld.net/News/View.aspx?id=26635_Article(Geospatial World, 10/04/2013)
The new online GIS platform aims to provide agricultural related spatial datasets in a user friendly platform and offers data for six commodity value chains: Mango, Citrus, Maize, Rice, Soybean and Cashew. The platform also provides agricultural commodity prices, crop production, agricultural imports and exports figures and Ghana's agricultural budget and in this way the platform pulls together factual data, statistical data and interactive maps. While most data are free, there is a fee for premium datasets. (FAO AIMS and Ghana Business News, 4/04/2013)
Yaw Poku-Gyamfi, research scientist at the Building and Road Research Institute of CSIR, Ghana writes about the potential role NEPAD and other pan-African agencies could play in developing stronger capacity in geospatial activities in Africa. Detailing four space technology applications which include EGNOS, AFREF, AVN and SKA, he sees great opportunities for the rapid development of a unified continental reference frame for remote sensing and its derived products. (Geospatial World Weekly, 25/03/2013)
The Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa (MESA, 2013-2018) will bridge the African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) programme (ending June 2013) with the follow-up Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. MESA will address the needs for improved management of natural resources and environmental security towards sustainable development in Africa, at continental, regional and national levels. Monitoring of soil and water conditions for agriculture, tracking desertification, providing information to policy makers about the effects of climate change and reducing the risks of natural disasters are all areas where MESA will bring added value. http://au.int/amesd/home/144-mesa-a-leap-forward-for-earth-observation-applications-in-africa-.html (AMESD, 21/02/2012)
The Sugar Research Institute of Fiji will soon introduce Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to all sugar cane farms on the island for easy access of information. Sugar research technical officer Jasneel Singh said the GIS pilot projects at Drasa and Lovu sector had been completed with reports being sent to Belgium. He said the new project which was funded by the Fiji and Belgium governments together with other sugar stakeholders would allow decision makers to obtain all the necessary information on all cane farms.(Fiji Times Online, 13/9/2012)
A tool to enhance decision-making to reduce the serious economic and social impacts caused by natural hazards in the region has been launched by the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Caribbean Disaster Risk Atlas has been designed to meet the need for reliable data in the development of comprehensive risk management strategies in the Caribbean. Caribbean 360 has the story (25/6/2012).
Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries launched In August 2012, a series of stakeholder consultations on how to better utilise geographic information systems (GIS) as a decision-support tool in expanding its food health and traceability infrastructure. Dwight Uylett, principal director, policy coordination and administration, explained the rationale for the initiative during the launch meeting. He said the series of workshops will seek to determine stakeholder needs and how best to strengthen the capacity of the Rural Physical Planning Division (RPPD) to respond and forge partnerships. GIS for food security would help set export strategies, adapt to climate change and support agricultural land management.(The Gleaner, 23/8/2012)
GIS solutions developed by the SuperGeo, a Taiwan-based enterprise, have been chosen by Ghana and Liberia’s fisheries commissions. The technology will enable the personnel at the Fisheries Commissions to develop a GIS system for fishery resource analyses and management. The GIS will be used to visualize and analyze the geographical distributions of marine living resources in that area. Will the system be able to track fishing vessel and monitor catch quality and yield? The Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services at the University of Ghana provided guidance on the choice of software.(SuperGeo, 30/7/2012)
Dates: 4-8 November 2013Venue: Addis Ababa, EthiopiaThe GSDI Association, EIS-Africa, the International Geospatial Society, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are pleased to announce a close partnership in offering the joint GSDI 14 World Conference and AfricaGIS 2013 Conference.This combined conference is planned to take place in the UNECA Conference Center (http://new.uneca.org/uncc/home_uncc.aspx) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 4-8, 2013. Pre-conference and post-conference workshops, meetings and seminars will also be supported.The theme of the conference is "Spatially Enabling Africa in Support of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction". AfricaGIS is the largest regularly occurring GIS conference in Africa with participants from the entirety of the continent. The GSDI World Conference moves across the globe to offer geospatial specialists in all parts of the world opportunities to better exchange ideas and learn from global peers in building spatial data infrastructure.For past conferences, see http://www.gsdi.org/gsdiConferences. Numerous high quality hotels are conveniently available near the Conference Center and flights are readily available from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.Substantial reduction in registration fees will be available for local participants, members of EIS-Africa and members of the International Geospatial Society who are from low income per capita nations. Substantial reductions in Exhibit and Sponsorship fees will be available for companies and agencies that are members of the GSDI Association.Consult the web site as the Call for Papers and details about the programme, facilities and sponsorship opportunities become available.WEBSITE: http://gsdi.org/gsdi14
Monday 04 November 2013 - Friday 08 November 2013
The RCMRD Data Centre has a large LandSat Data Archive, dating back to 1972, for all African Countries. It is also a Reseller Agent in Africa for Digital Globe for QuickBird and WorldView 1/2 High-Resoultion Satellite imagery. The Centre also supplies data from GeoEye (GeoEye 1/2, Ikonos & Orbview Imagery), SPOT Image (SPOT 2.5m, SPOT 5m & SPOT 10m), USGS (Landsat MSS, Landsat TM & Landsat ETM+) amongst other active and passive satellite imagery products Datasets for Africa archived at the Centre are available at subsidized rates. Other low resolution imagery datasets (90m SRTM, NOAA, MERIS, MODIS), scanned maps and vector data for Africa are also available. The center in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMESAT has established a facility for direct satellite reception for MERIS, MODIS, NOAA and EUMESAT (Second Generation Meteosat data. These datasets amongst others can be accessed online via: http://www.rcmrd.org
This guide was designed to give a very basic knowledge of remote sensing to offshore tuna fishermen.
GloF-DAS is based on a new product derived from satellite data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The product, developed at NASA Ames Research Centre by the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) ecosystem modelling team, is based on comparison of MODIS global vegetation index images at the exact same time period each year in consecutive years. It registers change when more than 40 % of a five-by-five km forest area has lost greenness over the previous 12 months. Seasonal variation is generally mitigated through the product's quarterly baseline. GloF-DAS could help users detect deforestation shortly after it occurs, offering the potential to take measures to investigate clearing before it expands. (Mongabay via Agro.biodiv.se, 31/5/2012)
Two tools from industry are being applied to the small grains breeding program by a Texas AgriLife Research team to help identify valuable drought-resistance traits in wheat faster and less intrusively than with normal practices. The study is looking at below- and above-ground traits using high-throughput phenotyping or characterization technologies. The goal is to differentiate types of plants with the aim of identifying traits that give the breeding line an advantage when it comes to drought resistance. Thompson's project is using both ground-penetrating radar and terrestrial laser-scanning tools to look at traits never before examined. This remote-sensing technology has been used to look at crop-water availability, but not to look directly at agricultural plant populations. The team believes they can adapt it so that for the first time, they will be able to look at the roots of wheat as it is growing in the field. (EurekAlert, 1/6/2012)
Optimizing crop water use efficiency requires quantitative measurements of crop water consumption. A GIS data model, developed by the Dutch company eLEAF, uses satellite imagery to include the albedo, leaf area index, vegetation index, and surface temperature in a complex algorithm to calculate evapo-transpiration on a pixel-by-pixel basis. The product determines the optimum amount of water needed to sustain healthy plant life in any part of the world. It can also calculate the biomass production (total plant life in a specified area) and soil moisture in the root zone. It is a crucially important tool for climate-smart agriculture. More information in this article.
In an article entitled ‘Spatial and temporal trends of global pollination benefit’, a German research team shows in which regions of the world pollination in agriculture plays an important role. Sixty major crops were taken into account in the study, enabling the research team to map the dependence of agricultural yields upon pollination worldwide. The results of the spatial analysis provide important information for nature conservation practice and political decisions. It would help design appropriate recommendations for regional agricultural policy protecting and valuing this essential ecosystem service. (UFZ via AlphaGalileo, 27/04/2012)
The Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) developed and maintained by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), was adopted by the Global Soil Partnership as the definitive database for global soil analyses. Early in 2012, the USDA and Australia’s CSIRO agreed to provide new soil data from their respective countries within the next year, and plans were made for updated information from Canada, Europe, West Africa, and South Asia. (IIASA, 04/2012)
The report Current Water Resources in Europe and Africa published by the Joint European Research Centre (JRC) shows variations in yearly freshwater generation from 10 mm to over 500 mm for Europe and from less than 0.1 mm to over 500 mm for Africa. The report outlines existing uncertainties and points to many future research challenges, knowledge gaps, and data gaps in the field of water resources estimation and identifies that further research efforts are needed for improved water management. While acknowledging that estimating water scarcity is a challenging exercise, improving the data on water abstractions is critical, as the most recent pan-African data on water abstractions is from the year 2000. The lack of available observed river flow data for Africa, for example, creates a major bottleneck in calibrating and verifying hydrological models for the continent. Satellite data provide improved meteorological data for Africa, but data on water abstractions need to be updated more frequently. (Physorg, 14/03/2012)