The Linux Foundation’s AgStack Project to Build World’s First Global Dataset of Agricultural Field Boundaries

The Linux Foundation's AgStack project to build the world's first global dataset of agricultural field boundaries

AgStack, a Linux Foundation project.

The Linux Foundation, a global nonprofit enabling innovation through open source, announced today that its AgStack project will host a new open source code base to create, maintain and host a global dataset of boundaries, along with a fully automated, continuous computation engine. A “registry” for agricultural sectors to help with things like food traceability, carbon tracking, crop production, and other sector-level analysis.

AgStack will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage global field boundary data for public use.

Code contributed by Dr. Sherry Wang, Dr. It is based on research by Francois Waldner and Professor David Lobel at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, and is funded by organizations including the NASA Harvest Consortium.

AgStack’s property registry dataset, the first of its kind in the world, is built using data from satellites and real field registries and is continuously updated to include information about boundaries, not ownership, which will then train machine learning models to detect additional boundaries.

Accurate knowledge of field boundaries can help farmers, agricultural companies, and the public sector monitor and manage determinants of crop production, study management practices (crop rotation, cover cropping, tillage, irrigation), productivity, pest and disease spread, and species diversity. . By sharing reusable agricultural data, new insights can also be gleaned for global food security research and innovation.

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Crop area boundaries are the basic unit for addressing such datasets in agriculture worldwide, but they are rarely available as public datasets, especially in small areas. According to the FAO, the world has more than 1.5 billion hectares of cropland (about 12% of the global land surface). Since the average area of ​​more than 80% of farms is less than one hectare, this accounts for 1.2 billion active area boundaries – constantly changing with cropping seasons.

By leveraging computer science and artificial intelligence, members will create, curate and maintain global domain boundaries that make open source digital public good available for all to use. This project has the potential to unlock the next revolution in digital agriculture services across the public and private sectors, especially for smallholder farmers.

“Creating and maintaining a global, inclusive, neutral and company-agnostic dataset has been challenging for many reasons,” said Dr. Wang, who will continue to contribute research as an incoming assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. “Now is the time to do it. We have deep learning and satellite imagery to efficiently delineate cropland at the planetary scale. The next steps are to scale the algorithm, release the dataset as a public good, and maintain and improve it over time.”

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The research seeks to enable all kinds of agricultural data analysis and services by combining computing and AI research expertise with a global network of partners in an open source software ecosystem, which the Linux Foundation has set up to do.

“We think the public sector boundary dataset can help turbocharge a lot of smart people and businesses focused on improving agriculture and food security around the world,” said Lobel, who hosted the original research as director of the Gloria and Richard Kuschel Center. Benjamin Page Professor of Food Security and Environmental and Earth System Sciences at Stanford University. “We’re excited to help bring this dataset to life.”

All code will be contributed under an open source license and operated by the AgStack community within the Linux Foundation, using open source and licensed tools and processes.

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“We are delighted to host this groundbreaking research and work with the university community to create machine learning models and approaches that can enable this powerful global dataset,” said Sumer Johal, executive director of the Linux Foundation’s AgStack project. “This code contribution will launch an ecosystem-wide invitation to private and public sector stakeholders to ensure the availability of these data as a neutral, trusted, and secure public good. Together we can help remove barriers around working with field boundary data in a community-driven way.”

About The Linux Foundation and AgStack: The Linux Foundation is the world’s largest non-profit connecting global technical experts, and providing them with a neutral and trusted platform to develop open source projects. Founded in 2000 as the home of the Linux kernel, the Linux Foundation has grown to host hundreds of open source projects with a community spanning 2,950+ members, 540,000+ contributing developers, and 19,000+ contributing companies. AgStack is an open source digital infrastructure project for the world’s agricultural ecosystem, under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation.

Media Contact:

Noah Lehman
[email protected]
The Linux Foundation


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