Online data sources: Harvest choice

One example of of spatial data on the web every week… this week Harvest choice

Harvest Choice

Description: Harvest Choice is a collaboration between various partners that aim to build decision support databases, analytical tools, and knowledge delivery mechanisms to promote evidence-based decisions regarding agricultural investment and intervention options. It does this by providing information on a list of crop and livestock commodities.

Data: The number of data layers available through this site is fairly large (e.g., 558 spatial data layers). They covers a wide range of topics related to crops, livestock and agriculture. The data focusses on Africa, with data layers for east and central Africa, southern Africa and west Africa.

Data is available through a traditional web portal for data sets. Data sets can be search and filtered through a relative simple but effective interface with a free text search, selection boxes to filter by topic, location, commodity, or dataset type.

After selecting a data layer, you are presented with a page with concise information about the data set, including publishing details, an (often very short) abstract describing the data set, data sources and credits, citation and additional attributes.

There are also a set of tools that allow you to further explore and analyse the data layers. Examples are an API that provides a number of methods to describe, query and aggregate the available data layers, and a toolbox to help researchers and policy makers to examine effects of alternative agricultural practices and technologies on e.g., farm yields and food prices. To find a tool, you have the same set of search and filter options as for the data sets.

Presentation: The website provides a clear and easy way to search for data sets, and information on the different data sets is presented in a concise but clear way.Besides direct download of the data, you can access the data layers through a beautifully designed web interface in which you can easily select and display a large number of data layers (grouped by main topics) and even carry out some basic spatial analysis.

Bottom line: If you need data on topics related to agriculture, crops or livestock in Africa, this is certainly a site you want to check out. A very strong point of this site is how easy it is to find the data and the variety of ways one can access, view and even analyse the data. This ensures that not only data scientists but other professionals also have easy access to the rich source of data.


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