This year during the CAPIGI 2018 conference on Performance Agriculture a hackathon was organised as a side event, with a contribution from AGINFRA+ roject. The key challenge of this Rewarding Nature Hack was helping farmers demonstrate how their planting of more herb rich grasslands contribute to increasing biodiversity. One of the possible solutions is the use of Sentinel satellite imagery, i.e. Sentinel 1 synthetic-aperture radar data and Sentinel 2 multi-spectral data, as input to calculate vegetation indices (NDVI), do (crop) phenology curve fitting, and feed machine learning algorithms to classify grassland fields as more or less herb rich. Of course the short time available for a hackathon (< 32 hours, depending on how much sleep you need) only leaves room for exploring the topic and work on a small scale proof of concept. And it does not help that all participants usually work on their own tiny laptops without access to the storage and compute infrastructure needed for the task at hand. During this hackathon access was provided to the AgroDataCube (for dutch agriculture related data), and to Sentinel Hub and Google Earth Engine for working with the satellite data. But a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) like the AGINFRA+ Agro-Climate Modelling platform could fill in the missing parts (e.g. collaboration tools) and provide specific algorithms for agri-food related research that can be run ‘in the Cloud’. Once more of such functionality is operational in the VRE trying it out in a next hackathon will be a good opportunity to get lots of feedback in a short time.
AGINFRA+ aims to exploit core e-infrastructures such as EGI.eu, OpenAIRE, EUDAT and D4Science, towards the evolution of the AGINFRA data infrastructure, so as to provide a sustainable channel addressing adjacent but not fully connected user communities around Agriculture and Food.
The selected AGINFRA+ Use Cases will illustrate the benefits of applying the Science as a Service approach to pressing research questions from the corresponding research communities.
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