Today the Obama Administration is rolling out the Climate Data Initiative “Food Resilience” effort, "aimed at empowering America’s agricultural sector and strengthening the resilience of the global food system in a changing climate." Some geospatial highlights include:
- New Features on climate.data.gov. The Obama Administration is today unveiling an expanded climate.data.gov to include new pages and features that make data about the risks of climate change to food production, supply, nutrition, and security more open and accessible to innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers. Through a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other Federal agency partners, hundreds of datasets, web services, and tools on these topics and more are being made accessible through climate.data.gov, including data from the Census of Agriculture, current and historical data on production, supply, and distribution of agricultural products, and data on climate-change-related risks such as storms, pests, and drought. The Administration is also expanding climate.data.gov to include datasets from climate models, projecting potential future climate impacts.
- Microsoft. In support of the President’s Climate Data Initiative’s, Microsoft and USDA will co-host a series of workshops, webinars, and an app-athon aimed at demonstrating the value of open-data and data-driven tools to boost climate preparedness and resilience in the agricultural sector. Microsoft and USDA will also jointly launch a climate-change-focused Innovation Challenge to inspire the development of new tools and services that harness data available via data.gov, as well as an initial collection of USDA datasets that will be made available through Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace. Microsoft Research will issue a special request for proposals focused on food resilience and climate change and grant 12 months of free cloud-computing resources to 20 awardees whose proposals are submitted by Sept. 15, 2014 through the Azure for Research program.
- Esri. Esri will work with USDA, GEOGLAM, CGIAR and others to expose and unlock authoritative data as live data feeds across dimensions of agricultural production, risk and trade. In the fall of 2014, Esri will host an Executive White Boarding session to target the development of common information products (maps, apps and templates) needed to address specific needs in the domain of climate, society, and agriculture. Esri fact sheet (pdf)
- Michigan Agri-Business Association. In August 2014, the Michigan Agri-Business Association will launch a publicly-available web-based mapping tool for use by the state’s agriculture sector. This platform will incorporate Federal, state, and local data that could prove useful to farmers, rural businesses, conservationists and economic development professionals. Resulting maps will aggregate soil, water, meteorological and infrastructure GIS data that can be compared and visualized to meet the needs of a particular project. It is anticipated that this tool will be particularly useful for planning future agricultural activities in response to climate change in Michigan.
- Trust for Public Land: The Trust for Public Land will commit new organizational resources through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to help America's cities lessen their vulnerability to climate-related heat events. Specifically, over the next two years the Trust for Public Land will help fill national gaps in heat-risk spatial data and modeling for cities, expand its Urban Heat Risk Explorer App to new cities, and develop a heat risk reduction GIS toolkit to help cities strategically target green infrastructure for heat resilience.