AgroSphere wins the 2017 GODAN-NASA Local Farming Challenge


In January 2017, GODAN released a call for participants to take part in a Local Farming Challenge, with support from the NASA Europa Challenge. The call aimed to bring together researchers and students to find solutions for local farming in growing cities, using open agriculture and nutrition data.

Participants were required to use an aspect of the OpenCitySmart Design and use NASA’s open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind as a source of open data. 

Ideas included ways for optimally linking local farming communities directly with potential customers, tools for visualising spatio-temporal aspects of local farming, tools for helping reducing wastage (for example linking with local food banks), and any number of solutions for helping our goal of Zero Hunger.

In August, at the final awards ceremony event held in Helsinki, the winner of the GODAN challenge was announced as... Agrosphere!

AgroSphere is an educational web application that visualizes the effects of climate change on agriculture using a large collection of global agriculture and climate data, developed by high school students.

A tutorial video on how to use the web application can be found here.

According to Atreya Iyer, a member of the AgroSphere team, the web application was inspired by the "lack of agriculture knowledge not only in the US, but across the entire world."

"Our team of high school and undergraduate NASA interns would love for our application to be used in classrooms on a global scale. AgroSphere is very thankful to GODAN for encouraging agriculture data to be published - as finding open data on agriculture was often the most time-consuming task we had to do," says Iyer.

Another exceptional project under the GODAN Local Farming Challenge was the Satellio Berry Monitor, which  uses World Wind technology to visualize the locations where people are most likely to find blueberries in Finland. The results are based on open satellite data (Landsat, Sentinel) combined with open land cover and forestry data (Corine, VMI). 

Details of the remaining challenge projects are available here.

Also available is the video recording of the award event. See the GODAN award from 3:20 hr. 

A very warm thank you to all applicants and a special thanks to Dr Suchith Anand, GODAN Researcher and lead on the Local Farming Challenge. 

To contact the AgroSphere team, email or