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Archive for the ‘TECHNOLOGY’ Category

Flattening The Data

Offline Maps On A StickThe AGCommons team has been working with global datasets from HarvestChoice, Open Streeet Map, CGIAR-CSI, Google Map Maker, and the WFP among others. Aside from ensuring that these data are relevant at a local level in Africa the team has been looking at different ways to actually deliver the information to the field. We always consider low or no bandwidth environments, intermittent power and extensive localization. (more…)

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When you spend time in Africa you realize immediately that the use mobile phones for SMS is huge. In the big cities just about everyone has a phone. Even in rural areas, most farmers use mobile phones regularly. Applications such as FrontlineSMS and RapidSMS have made it relatively easy for NGOs and others working in Africa to setup and deploy SMS broadcast to provide a variety of services. (more…)

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The AGCommons geospatial platform needs to support a wide variety of users and a large number of different scenarios in order to be successful.

From a design perspective, the ideal platform solution must be:

♦ Unbiased in terms of software tools and platforms.
♦ Based on standards to enable maximum interoperability.
♦ Driven by user needs and be user oriented. (more…)

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One of the technical goals of the AGCommons project has been to design the platform in such a way that it could be taken off-line and widely distributed at little or no cost. This results from direct feedback that we heard from African users during the outreach trips. We found that most potential users in Africa had no experience with desktop GIS, little or no access to geographic data and slow or expensive Internet connections that make on-line delivery impractical. (more…)

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We will be making some changes to the AGCommons Data Search in the coming months after the launch of the revamped web site. The existing Data Search was created at the beginning of the program to provide a centralized location for spatial metadata discovery and management for AGCommons partner organizations. (more…)

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In the last post I tried to summarize some of the goals and inputs to the AGCommons technology platform that will ultimately benefit small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

From a technical perspective what does it take to do this? (more…)

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A major component of the AGCommons program from the beginning has been to find a way to make spatial information more relevant and useful to small-holder farmers in the field. The idea that we can bring the same level of location intelligence used by large scale farming operations and agribusinesses in North America to small-holder farmers in Africa is not far fetched. This was validated during the AGCommons outreach trip(s) last April and has been proven by the Quick Win projects started last year but now wrapping up. (more…)

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