Reforms to agricultural and land management practices are needed to combat a future of soil exhaustion and food insecurity forecasted by scientific organizations worldwide, as the world’s populations continue to rise and issues of food security and nutrition are exacerbated.
Motivated by this call, we have been developing technologies to support agroecological analyses on a variety of different spatio-temporal scales.
Working as a partner in the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project, QED has focused on developing end-to-end data processing workflows to support the full lifecycle of data. This workflow includes field data acquisition, barcoding, database management, and map visualization. These technologies have been introduced in several African countries in collaboration with their governments, with the aim of closing information gaps and positively influencing public policy and industrial practices, if executed in coordination with partners. Below we describe some of these technologies in further detail.
We have been developing technologies to allow scientists to more efficiently and reliably catalogue soil and landscape resources by using some of today’s most influential technologies, including web and mobile, crowdsourcing, machine learning, cloud, and UAVs. Our hope is that the technologies we build will be of use to scientists and industry practitioners aiming to collect and analyze updated field data.
As an example, we can generate digital maps such as those found on the right by collecting crowdsourced assessments of recent satellite imagery backed by expert verification, and then building ML models to execute predictions throughout the region. These predictions can also supplemented with uncertainty measures.
Readers are encouraged to browse more examples of applications below.