Building the new web site of GODAN

As part of our #wesupport activities, Agroknow team worked on a very exciting project during the last three months: the development of the new web site for Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). The new web site goes beyond a mere communication site. It constitutes an information gateway for this very important initiative and at the same time it is a tool that facilitates the collection and management of the information about GODAN partners.
The new web site targets organisations and individuals that are interested in news, resources, datasets and events that are relevant to Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition. … Click to read the full post

Who is who in agricultural research?


We are always very happy to have visitors from collaborating organisations and work together with them on a challenging task. This was the case of Miaoling Chai visit from our strategic AGRIS partner namely Chinese Academy of Sciences. We worked on defining a process for the disambiguation of authors in AGRIS.

But wait a minute. What exactly is the problem of author disambiguation?

As indicated by analytics of FAO AGRIS, in many cases people are searching for publications using authors’ name. This calls for a search engine that will be able to understand the variations of an author’s name but also to distinguish between authors with similar names.… Click to read the full post

What happens in Turin stays in Turin? We have a FREME report



Have you ever used services like Open Calais ? If yes then probably you were amazed by how easy is to automatically extract semantic information directly from the submitted text. If you are not familiar with Open Calais it is a service that extracts events, people, organisations, topics and social tags from unstructured data. I would suggest to try it. A lot of developers and companies are using such services to enrich their content, to improve discovery services, to build recommendations services and to extract analytics from content.

But could such great service work with any open dataset that you have for your domain and not only with a specific and close data?
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Giants join forces to improve agricultural semantics


I am writing this post on my way back to home from Rome where I participated in the Improving Agricultural Semantics workshop that was held in Food and Agricultural Organisation of United Nations and which was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.


Arriving I decided not to speak about the situation in Greece and get as much as possible from this event where all the important organisations of the agricultural sector will be present. Of course you understand that this was difficult because everybody was asking me about the referendum. I broke my promise 🙁

The workshop started with a very interesting session about the results of the pre-workshop survey about the Knowledge Organisations Systems and data used and produced by organisations and the main problems that they are addressing.… Click to read the full post

My week at the ODI Train the Trainer course




So this is a visualization of my week at the Train The Trainer course of the Open Data Institute (ODI). Let me explain this visualization to you by describing all the days of this very interesting week.

On Monday we arrived at the offices of the ODI, with an excellent mood (smiley face on the diagram)  and very eager to start the course. By the way ODI premises is a really cool place with a lot of special things like dashboards with live data on the walls and the vending machine that releases packs of chips every time that a news item related to recession is recognised in the BBC news feed.… Click to read the full post

Building innovation using open data and source


Back in 1995, at the time that I was studying in the high school in Lamia, it was a dream of all the locals to have an University Department on sciences such as Computer and Informatics. 20 years later,  the Department of Computer science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly is there, with great professors and bright students that are doing great work moving this dream even further.

One month ago, the IEEE University of Thessaly student branch invited our team to give a talk about the open data and source in agrifood sector at the 6th Open Data and Source Workshop that was organised in Lamia.… Click to read the full post

Land Portal & Global Open Knowledge Hub visit Agro-Know


Between 14-15 of January 2015 we had two interesting people visiting Agro-Know: Laura Meggiolaro from Land Portal and Peter Mason from the Institute of Development Studies.  The aim of their visit was to get to know the Agro-Know team better (this goes especially to Laura, since Agro-Know is already working on the new version of the Land Portal Library Module) and also to explore possibilities of further collaboration.

Laura is the coordinator of the Land Portal Partnership and our first contact was made during the 1st CIARD/GODAN Consultation meetingwhen we had some initial discussions about the possibility to implement semantic web technologies in the Land Portal.… Click to read the full post

Showcasing the impact of Open Data in the agricultural sector

Could we develop showcases that could show to governments the impact of open data? This is exactly what we are trying to do in the Greek Open Data Working Group.
The Open Data Working Group operated in the context The Greek Free/Open Source Software Society (GFOSS) was set up two years ago and aims at proposing to the Greek Government answers about the following questions
  • which are the most useful and critical data from public sector that should be opened
  • which are the main barriers for the dissemination and exploitation of open data by citizens and stakeholders from public and private sector
  • which should be the legal framework for opening the data


The main initial outcome of the working group towards that direction is a set of showcases per sector in order to show the social and economical impact of open data.
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City to farm project: Right values go beyond any tool



Bringing people from different sectors and disciplines is one of my favorite parts in the events that we are organizing and participating. Especially when such events include people that have real problems and great experience in the agro-food sector this becomes an opportunity. This was the case with the first event of the City to Farm (Apo tin poli ston agro) project. The City to Farm was conceived as a project that can help people to set up a sustainable agricultural activity/business. The project was launched with an event that took place in a rural area, namely the Platystomo which is located in the central Greece, 270 kms north of Athens.… Click to read the full post

Agro-Know family helping to maximize the impact of Nigeria’s assets

What if we could help governments to invest in new sectors and to attract investors using data about natural resources and agriculture? This could maximize the impact of the assets that a country has and could lead to job creation.

Agro-Know team members, in collaboration with colleagues from MSU, are contributing to the development of a web based decision support tool that will help public agencies and private investors easily target investments to leverage Nigeria’s unique assets.

The Nigeria Assets Decision Support System is a project of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility. The System allows users to consider data related to investment opportunities in agricultural development and minerals development within the context of international development activities.… Click to read the full post