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Geospatial Technologies and Food Security

giulia.riedo's picture

Geospatial Technology and Food Security.

The E-agriculture team decided to open a blog dedicated to the use of Geospatial Technologies for the improvement of food security.

Geospatial imagery and data have a great amount of applications that can benefit global development.


We would like to share with you articles, stories, news and interviews related to this topic, in order to discover this fascinating world together.


But what exactly are Geospatial Technologies?

A Geospatial Technology is a technology relating to the collection or processing of data that is associated with location. “This is the common terms used to describe the range of modern tools contributing to the geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human society.”( http://www.aaas.org/content/what-are-geospatial-technologies#materials)


The most common GTs are:

  • Remote sensing:  imagery and data collected from space- or airborne camera and sensor platforms (satellites, aerial, UAVs, terrestrial sensor). Some commercial satellite image providers now offer images showing details of one-meter or smaller.
  • The Geographic Positioning System (GPS): a network of U.S. Department of Defense satellites which can give precise coordinate locations to civilian and military users with proper receiving equipment (note: a similar European system called Galileo will be operational within the next several years while a Russian system is functioning but restricted).
  • The Geographic Information System (GIS): is a system designed to capture, analyse store, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data. GIS use the space and time dimensions as the key index variable for all other information.

This three tools interact each other following a workflow that is simply described in this scheme:


How could it be applied to food security?

Geospatial technologies have multiple applications aimed to strengthen food security, those can be used for:

  • Improving Disaster Risk Reduction strategies
  • Enhancing Early Warning Mechanism
  • Monitoring forest and land degradation
  • Monitoring activities related to livestock and fisheries
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Assessing crops yields, providing more reliable data for assurance and access to credit
  • Elaborating management maps, thereby enabling farmers to use pesticides, fertilizers and general resources in a more sustainable and effective way.
  • Checking land tenure status


Those are some of the possible applications coming from the use of Geospatial Technologies. In this blog we would like to observe some of them more in depth.


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