Knowledge management for Agriculture – A Targeted Side Event at GEO Week 2019

Plan4all is co-organizing one of the targeted side events at the GEO week 2019 in Canberra, Australia, 4. – 8. November 2019. The side event is based on an ongoing work on a white paper addressing a number of challenges related to the use of Earth observation for development of knowledge for the agriculture sector. The process is open and organized by GEOGLAM, the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative, GODAN, the H2020 project EO4Agri, and Plan4all.  The first draft white paper will be further discussed at the targeted side event and you are invited to contribute both by attending the event in Canberra on Monday 4th November or remotely. More details will be included in updates of this article and in our social media channels. See Agenda below.


Agriculture communities around the globe produce massive amounts of information and  knowledge based on/related to Earth observations. The Earth observation data, IoT data, derived data products and aggregated information and knowledge come in a variety of forms, different formats and often they are the product of projects of limited duration. These projects are generally the engine that drives innovation and the development of operational solutions for agricultural monitoring. In order to maximize the impact of our collective investments in research to operations, the results and outcomes of these efforts need to be stored, harmonized and sustained and made openly accessible for the future. At present we can see that when project, programmes and initiatives stop, their results, data and tools are difficult or even impossible to retrieve and re-use. As well much of this information is in the form of peer-reviewed (P-R) papers. A knowledge management system is required in order to ensure the communities intellectual productivity is curated, managed and made accessible for the long term. We also note the knowledge management is core to the concept of a results oriented GEOSS being deliberated during the GEO Plenary. The time is right for the agricultural community to make progress in this area, and in response we are proposing a Targeted session during GEO Week to move it forward. 

Fortunately, the agricultural community is well aware of the need for more systematic approach to knowledge management and there are a number of initiatives working to address the need (e.g. GEO, EO4Agri, GEOGLAM, GODAN, Plan4all). To date these efforts are to some extent happening in an ad hoc and uncoordinated fashion. In this side event we will discuss how knowledge management is being addressed by a number of key actors, and look at ways the community can work together to leverage efforts towards the development of a common approach. It is intended that the session will develop consensus-based actions to move towards a common knowledge management solution.

A knowledge management system will need to address topics ranging across the research to operations continuum, including data interoperability issues, documentation of algorithms, code, processes, scientific papers (doi) to visualization and story telling. We will also discuss how the knowledge can be transferred for practical use through capacity development measures like hackathons, datathons, ideathons, and innovation hubs.

The session will be threefold:

i) Presentations of existing efforts and
ii) discussion of how these efforts can be synced to create a more comprehensive knowledge system for agriculture supporting result oriented use of Earth observations. iii) Development of consensus around tangible actions to move the collaboration forward.

A white paper outlining possible avenues to create such a knowledge system will be issued before the session (look here for the link).

Expected outcome: a consolidated draft embryo knowledge management system for agriculture and a strategy for capacity building activities for knowledge transfer.

Targeted Side Events

GEO Week 2019 – Canberra – Monday 4th November 2019 09:00 AEST, Room Derwent


09:00 Welcome – short intro of white paper

09:05 DEMO of the GEO Knowledge Hub for GEOGLAM

Ian Jarvis, GEO Sec, GEOGLAM

09:20 EO4Agri: Towards a knowledge hub for agriculture

David Kolitzus, GeoVille

09:30 How  GEO(GEOGLAM), GODAN, Agriculture DWG of OGC and IGAD RDA, EO4AGRI, NextGEOSS can cooperate on Agriculture Interoperability

Karel Charvat, Plan4all

09:40 Ethical framework for Open Data in Agriculture and capacity development

Foteini Zampati, GODAN

09:50 Hackathons as an engagement and capacity building tool

Bente Lilja Bye, Plan4all

09:55 White paper continued

10:00 End of the event