GIS is a piece of software that captures geographic data for the purpose of manipulation, viewing and analysis in whichever context and parameters the user desires or needs. It can be used to analyse spatial data or geographic information for any given and possible purpose. GIS is more than a simple digital evolution from cartography to IT based geographic data and digital mapping offers enormous benefits to research, engineering, project management.

Agricultural scientists are always looking at ways to best produce our crops, manage soils while respecting the environment and protect them from disease and pests. GIS can play a vital part in tackling these challenges. GIS in agriculture is developing and applying innovative ways to use GIS in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture. GIS in agriculture offers a wide range of solutions to some agricultural challenges. It is seen as an emerging field focusing on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. In this context, GIS is used as an umbrella term encompassing all information and communication technologies including devices, networks, mobiles, services and applications; these range from innovative Internet-era technologies and sensors to other pre-existing aids such as fixed radios and satellites. Geographic information systems, or GIS, are extensively used in agriculture, especially in precision farming. Land is mapped digitally, and pertinent geodetic data such as topography and contours are combined with other statistical data for easier analysis of the soil. GIS is used in decision making such as what to plant and where to plant using historical data and sampling.

Agriculture enthusiastically absorbs geospatial technologies. The future in agriculture with geospatial applications is bright. Besides more efficiency on the farm, geospatial technologies also offer new business opportunities and new sustainability concepts. But the adoption of geospatial innovations is lagging behind expectations. The rise of precision farming and the use of geospatial technologies bring all kinds of new business opportunities in domains including sensoring, machine guidance, geospatial-based office applications to work with soil maps, remote sensing imagery, yield monitors and crop growth optimization/decision support, not to mention a whole world of maintenance and support for all these new technologies. GIS technologies applications in Agriculture:

  • Crop identification
  • Crop acreage estimation
  • Crop condition assessment and stress detection
  • Identification of planting and harvesting dates
  • Crop yield modeling and estimation
  • Irrigation monitoring and management
  • Soil mapping
  • Droughts monitoring
  • Land cover and land degradation mapping
  • Identification of problematic soil etc.

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