Geospatial Clean Up

Agriculture by its very nature is a location sensitive activity. Knowing precisely where an experimental trial is performed or a farm field is located is often the key to matching trial and farm production data with other location sensitive information on soils, climate, terrain and so forth.

Unfortunately, much of the available experimental or farm data have geographic (i.e., latitude and longitude) coordinates that are incomplete, missing altogether, or represented by geographical names and not the analytically more useful lat-long coordinates. In some cases the reported names and coordinates do not jive, and in other instances the latitude and longitude values are switched or somehow obviously in error (such as field trials located in the Pacific Ocean!).

Through an innovative partnership with Macalester College, G.E.M.S applied informatics smarts to help resolve these geo-code anomalies. Students of Assistant Professor Getiria Onsongo received scholarships to work on developing G.E.M.S tools along with core G.E.M.S developers. Within this model, these Macalester students have created an outstanding geospatial data cleaning toolbox that is being distributed with G.E.M.S. In this manner, the G.E.M.S community benefits from the availability of these useful tools, and the students gain valuable experience working in a larger professional software development team, presenting their work, and having their work used by others.