Open Ag Data Alliance: Bringing interoperability, security and privacy to agricultural data

OADA

OADAOne of the most interesting initiatives that we came across recently was the Open Ag Data Alliance, an open project designed to bring interoperability, security, and privacy to agricultural data. OADA aims to define the context of the use of agricultural data produced by farmers and support the interoperability of each data source involved through the development of APIs and use of open source software, while making use of cloud services. Of course we could not but making the connection with the agINFRA project that we are actively involved in, which is also follows a similar approach. In our effort to identify some common ground for collaboration between the two projects as well as our curiosity to learn more about OADA, we contacted the team behind OADA and invited them to provide us with their feedback to our questions. James Krogmeier was kind enough to provide his responses to the questions we posed.

This mini interview with James Krogmeier from Purdue University can be found right below:

 

V: Can you tell us some thing about yourself? What is your educational background?

J: James Krogmeier: PhD in Electrical Engineering, expertise in communications, embedded systems, and statistical signal processing. Professor at Purdue.
Dennis Buckmaster: PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, expertise in agricultural mechanization and agricultural information systems. Professor at Purdue.
Aaron Ault: MS Computer Engineering, expertise in software engineering, databases, cloud computing, and embedded systems. Senior Research Engineer at Purdue and farm owner operator in north central Indiana growing corn, soybeans, wheat and beef cattle.

 

V: What is your current position and research interests?
J: Covered mostly above. Research interests are applications of statistical signal processing and cloud computing for agricultural data analytics applied to improved agronomy, whole farm test plotting, and farm management.

 

V: You are one of the persons actively involved in the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA); can you please share some background information about the alliance and the need(s) that led to it?
J: From the Purdue perspective OADA grew out of our research group’s efforts in the area of open source standards for management
applications and sensing systems. The group is titled: The Open Ag Technology and Systems Group.
Two projects lead to the new work on OADA. These are: OpenATK (developing open source mobile apps for improved farm management and autogenic sensing of farm meta data) and IsoBlue (developing an open source ISO11783 to Bluetooth bridge for machine data to the cloud). Other companies interested in open source and better data access and movement in the ag space noticed these projects and contacted our group to start the larger OADA initiative. The first interested outside organization was The Climate Corporation.

Use Case with OADA Interoperability (source: http://openag.io/principles/#use-case)

 

V: What is the current status of OADA and what are the next steps? Does OADA raise an interest among stakeholders?
J: The current status of OADA is always available on its web page http://openag.io/ and on github. We are presently finishing up the first draft version of the OADA API. This should happen in the next month and implementation will follow by individual partners and by the Purdue team.

 

V: What is the team behind OADA?
J: At Purdue the team consists of the three mentioned above and graduate research assistants Andrew Balmos, Alex Layton, and software developer Cyrus Bowman.
Industrial partners include: AgReliant Genetics, CNH Industrial, The Climate Corporation, GROWMARK, Valley Irrigation, Wilbur-Ellis, and WinField.

 

V: Can you please share some information about the OADA network? How can one join OADA Initiative?
J: OADA is an open source project. It is open to all to join and contribute (individuals, companies, or other organizations). The process is indicated on the web page.

 

V: How do you see things moving in terms of Open Access and Open Source in the agricultural context?
J: We think that the power of open source to help standards evolve in an open and democratic way has the potential to transform the agricultural industry just as it has in the Internet at large. It also has the benefit of leveling the playing field allow small sized and startup innovators to participate in the industry, this is an especially good fit with agriculture which has a long history of innovation by individuals including farmers.

 

V: The agINFRA project (www.aginfra.eu) is also working on enhancing agricultural data interoperability using grid- and-cloud-based services; do you see any common ground for collaboration between the two initiatives?
J: I think OADA and agINFRA are “birds of a feather” and will likely benefit from collaboration.

 

V: One of the outcomes of the agINFRA project is the CIARD RING (http://ring.ciard.net/), a directory of agricultural information services and datasets. Do you think that it could also be used in the case of OADA, probably as a component of its workflows?
J: Possibly. I’m not certain but we are open to these ideas.

 

We would like to thank James for accepting our invitation for this interview. In addition, we would like to highlight the fact that OADA is open to everyone wishing to contribute to the project. OADA outcomes are available through Github and everyone can keep up with the current advances through the OADA mailing list.

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