Satellite mapping programme ‘predicts’ what crops are grown in Scotland
Crops in every field farmed in Scotland have been recorded by satellite imagery to create a new interactive map to helping to breakdown agricultural land use.
The Scottish Crop Map uses data from 2019 to predict the crop types using radar images from the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Satellite Programme and to recognise the crops growing in nearly 400,000 fields in Scotland.
The map has been developed by the Scottish Government’s Rural & Environmental Science and Analytical Services (RESAS), working in collaboration with EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, who built a data ingest process for the satellite data and provided expertise and support for modifying the data pipeline, and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) to utilise new statistical and computing science techniques.
Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This map is a very exciting development and, along with other digital innovations, will provide greater insight into rural land use. Future iterations of the map, combined with other datasets, could have a significantly broader scope of use, providing real time data that would help with community and farm level land-use planning and management.
“The statistics we have on Scotland’s agricultural sector typically rely on surveys being completed by a large number of farmers. Gathering data in this way would reduce the amount of time our farmers and crofters have to spend reporting this.
“In order to help improve the accuracy of the map, and before further developments are made to track minor crops, farmers and crofters are being asked to review the current map and report any inaccuracies in the crop identified. Engagement with farmers and crofters with their local knowledge is vital and will help develop future iterations of the map and enable us to extend and enhance what the map could do.”
Gavin McLachlan, vice principal and CIO University of Edinburgh said. “EDINA has been working with the agricultural sector for many years, and we were pleased to collaborate on this important project with the Scottish Government and JNCC. As well as providing satellite data expertise to develop the project, EDINA is also a champion of ensuring data is understood by wider audiences. Developing the spatial presentation of the data, to provide maximum benefit to the farming community, was an important element of the project.”
Women Lead: My journey from Dragons’ Den to Silicon Valley
Following her appearance on Dragons’ Den, Sheila Hogan, serial entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of digital legacy vault, Biscuit Tin, shares her experience of her time in the Den and…
Look anywhere – the future is ‘aged tech’. But Scotland needs to be more adventurous
Scottish Care, as the representative body of independent social care providers of care home, care at home and housing support services, has been working over several years with colleagues in…
Women Lead: Engineer turned entrepreneur
We are always fascinated by other people’s stories. It’s how we connect, grow and learn from each other. Until very recently I always felt like I didn’t have a story to tell. Who…
It’s time to change the future of tech apprenticeships – and we need your help
In his latest exclusive column for Futurescot, Ross Tuffee, chair of the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Digital Economy Skills Group, calls on tech employers to get involved in shaping the…
What AI difference a year makes
Amazingly, it’s been one year since the publication of Scotland’s AI Strategy. And what a year it has been. Demanding but rewarding, with good progress made and great foundations laid…
International Women’s Day: It’s time to harness power of women in technology
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I hope to be part of a future where barriers that prevent women from competing on a level playing field in the work environment…
NHS Scotland CEO: ‘Digital approaches are vital to our recovery’
The last two years have been the most challenging that the NHS in Scotland has ever lived through. I am enormously proud of the way in which staff across our…
Public Health Scotland’s data and intelligence response to Covid-19
As a Public Health Scotland (PHS) information analyst, I’ve had a front row seat to the data and intelligence response from our organisation to keep the public, leaders in government…