What is geospatial technology?
The invention of technology takes place with specific use of it in mind. However, scientists have found more ways to use them to benefit humanity over time. Geospatial technology, when invented, was used to collect data on the land and water resources on Earth. Today, with the development of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, we have learned to use that data for the benefit of agriculture. Geospatial technology is becoming a reliable tool for farm management. It provides the farmer with an information resource that he can use to make informed decisions that ensure efficient and effective management for maximum productivity.
Components of geospatial technology
Using remote sensing, GPS (Global Positioning System), by tracking on-field activities, monitoring weather conditions, and GIS (Geographic Information System), farmers can get a clear and comprehensive view of their current farming operations.
A GIS can help a farmer adjust to these variables:
- Monitor the health of individual crops,
- Estimate yields from a particular field
- Maximize agricultural production.
GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, GPS, and other technologies are helpful in soil analysis, in the preparation of various vegetation indices, DEM (Digital elevation model), LULC (Land use land cover), and many others.
Technologies currently in use:
- GPS tracking monitors – helps record weather, soil quality, crop yields, and even livestock data. Harvesters equipped with GPS tracking devices can measure results and crop quality metrics. Such as plant moisture content and chlorophyll levels in real-time and at the exact field location where they are harvested.
- Variable Rate Technology (VRT) is the part of precision farming that lets you work directly with your data. Farmers can use geospatial technologies such as GPS, GIS, and satellite imagery to assess changes in the quality of their planting soils.
- Remote sensing (RS) – using various methods and datasets to classify and map land cover and land-use change.
You might also want to read our article on the 7 Trends in Agriculture to watch in 2022 discussing about aerial imaging being used most frequently in context to geospatial technology.
How is it beneficial to farmers?
- These technologies help collect, store, process, display, and distribute location-specific details.
- With the help of remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and global positioning systems (GPS), farmers can more accurately determine what inputs to apply, where, and in what quantities.
- To provide a more accurate and complete analysis of crop conditions, the weather data, market data, and data obtained by drones equipped with multispectral satellite imagery can be combined with collected data from satellites.
- By making better decisions about when to grow, while minimizing the number of livestock and resources needed for farming, farmers can at least help mitigate their impact on emissions from climate change.
- Geospatial technologies are essential for all food and agriculture staff in all technical fields. They now play a vital role in supporting sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices for food security.