The Africa-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) this week is hosting the 2nd Africa Agriculture Geospacial Week (AAGW) on its Nairobi campus.
The five-day event—Taking a closer look at the role of spatial information and analysis in supporting improved agricultural research and development—provides a platform for sharing ideas and knowledge on the use of geographical information systems (GIS) for agricultural development.
Meetings such as the Africa Agriculture Geospatial Week help spatial groups of all kinds to share lessons from new research and extend the reach and benefits of GIS. ILRI and other centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) have been at the forefront of programs that use GIS to help farmers and herders in the developing world make more efficient use of their land and animal resources.
This year’s meeting—Navigating the change: Taking a closer look at the role of spatial information and analysis in supporting improved agricultural research and development—takes the form of a ‘GIS ShareFair’, complete with a marketplace of exhibitors and training sessions provided by ESRi, a world leader in GIS software and technology, Google, and OpenStreetMap, which provides free geographic data.
The event includes the annual meeting of the CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information, where scientists present the results of their work. It also will launch an AGCommons service bureau and host the third gathering of WhereCampAfrica, ‘a free “unconference” for geogeographers, mobile location experts and social cartographers and all kinds of folks interested in place.’ The first WhereCampAfrica was also held at ILRI’s Nairobi campus in 2009.
In addition, a full day of the program is dedicated to presentations of new and innovative ideas by researchers, professionals and students. Awards will be given for first-time presenters (including students and young professionals), most innovative idea, most innovative medium for presentation delivery and overall best presentation.
Jointly organized by the CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information, the CGIAR Harvest Choice program and the Agricultural Geospatial Commons (AG Commons) Program, led by the CGIAR in partnership with Spatial Development International, this week’s meeting targets professionals, researchers and students in agriculture who will come together to learn from experts in the field, share experiences and network.
Follow the week’s proceedings on Twitter #aagw10