Workshop on e-infrastructure and services at the GIL2013 conference

An agINFRA workshop took place at the 33rd Annual Conference of the German Association for Informatics in Agriculture, Forestry, and the Food Sector (GIL) in Potsdam, Germany. The conference is attended by researchers and technical developers of university departments, research centres and ICT/software companies. This year’s thematic focus was “Management of Large-scale Data in Agriculture and Food Industry”.

The agINFRA workshop and a poster presentation was jointly organised by Salzburg Research and FAO. The presentations focused on how to open up agricultural “data silos”, building blocks of global e-infrastructures and services, and interim results of an agINFRA online survey of agricultural information managers.

The survey results as yet show that managing heterogeneous data from different sources and achieving interoperability of content are perceived as the most challenging tasks. Asked about what could help to enhance repository and portal services the following options are most often seen as “very helpful” or “helpful”: Improved data/metadata extraction and indexing services, Interlinking of information based on Linked Data, and Novel mechanisms for searching different repositories. The online survey is still open for participation here.

The workshop discussion focused on the sharing of research data through e-infrastructures and services. Lack of sharing was understood mainly as an institutional issue that should be tackled by implementing appropriate rules and practices. Underestimation of the effort required for data description and other metadata was understood as a key issue. In order to promote data sharing the costs of this task should be covered by research grants. Another major concern was the need of more agricultural “data scientists” that are skilled in exploiting the growing volume of sensor data, process data of machinery, etc. in the agricultural sector.


Coffee break at the 33rd Annual Conference of the German Association for Informatics in Agriculture, Forestry, and the Food Sector (GIL) in Potsdam (Germany)


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