Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?
I am a retired GIS Database developer, having worked in that field for 17 years. Half of that time I worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the rest I worked as a consultant with a private firm. I worked on land survey data sets, water management systems, and spatial assessments for sales territory optimization. For the last four years I have done pro bono website development, building mapping components for existing sites as well as designing and building CMS-based sites. Currently, I am working with Remineralize.org to promote the use of mineral dust as a sustainable soil amendment. This includes developing new web components and web maintenance support.
How did you get in contact with AIMS?
I have been following news on the web related to ICT and Agriculture for several years, mainly through the e-Agriculture mailing list and forums. At some point I came across the AIMS initiative and subscribed to its news feed. My interest in these subjects stems from my belief that ICT can help agriculture meet the needs of the earth's growing population.
What is your opinion on AIMS?
AIMS is an interesting digital approach to agricultural development. It is a sophisticated and technically cutting-edge project to develop standards based data repositories of agricultural information. This effort will provide the means of centralizing critical data that researchers and practitioners will need to respond to changing demands in the environment.
According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?
The ongoing crises of food and water availability in the world demand that every effort be applied to organizing and standardizing existing data so that it can easily be searched and utilized to develop and implement more effective agricultural methods. AIMS is an important contribution to this challenge.
How do you think that information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?
An information system's effectiveness depends on the ability of users to discover data relevant to their needs. Agricultural information systems are no different. Discoverability requires that data is associated with common terms and unique identifiers. This can only be provided by a consistent, standardized nomenclature that cross references terminology to regional or local representations of similar entities.