The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge winners, who used the agency's open data to build online tools.
With access to more than 100 years of crop and climate data provided by USDA in a cloud environment, participants were asked to develop new applications designed to improve food production. The agricultural open data was collected from economic reports, farm production surveys, satellite imagery, and remote sensors capable of detecting the health of crops nationwide.
Farm Plenty received the grand prize of $25,000 for its application, which enables farmers to see local crop trends, what other farmers near them are planting, and how prices have changed. "It basically combines a series of datasets to give producers an easily accessible base of information about what is actually taking place in and around their farm," says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The second prize went to Green Pastures, a dashboard interface with maps and charts that display data on production, food supply, economic demand, livestock, remote sensing, and commodity information from sources such as the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, and the Economic Research Service.
The third-place What's Local? app uses Census of Agriculture local food system data to visualize agricultural production and resource expenses near U.S. urban areas.
From Government Computer News
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