ICRAF’s Landscape Portal: Data geeks building a global public good

By Kerstin Reisdorf

Blog originally published on the website of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA)

captureIt sounds like not only the CIA’s, but also a scientist’s worst nightmare: tons of datasets just “lying around” or rather sitting on someone’s computer without anyone else knowing. This is all too common and was what happened with geospatial data at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) before the creation of their GeoScience Lab. When data are not organized it means, of course, that they are not accessible for others and therefore cannot be put to any use.

Around 2011, ICRAF decided to address this problem, both to improve data management and use internally and in response to several donors that wanted to see more research outputs shared between scientists. Enter: ICRAF’s data geeks.

In 2012, Geoinformatics Senior Scientist Tor-Gunnar Vagen and his colleagues created a system in which spatial data analysis becomes an integral part of research projects: the so-called Landscape Portal.

This is a strictly open-source, interactive tool not only for scientists in ICRAF.

Now, four years later, the Portal counts between 100 and 300 users per day from all over the world—and is set to enter its next phase with more features and improved ease of use.

Read the full blog here

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