Meeting Note

Community Meeting | June 2019

Meeting Date: June 3, Monday

Meeting Place: Online (Zoom Meeting at

Bioversity International | Hannes Gaisberger
CIP | Henry Juarez
ICARDA | Chandrashekhar Biradar
ICRAF | Muhammad Ahmad
IFPRI | Zhe Guo, Jawoo Koo
IITA | Tunrayo Alabi
ITC | Andy Nelson


  • Travel grants will be continue available for the community members. To be eligible, Send a request email to Jawoo with the purpose of travel. The traveler should actively participate in the event with high relevance for the geospatial work in CGIAR (e.g., workshop, conference, meetings).
  • Once approved, air fare will be supported through IFPRI’s travel agency. The traveler is expected to cover the other costs.
  • The traveler should report back to the community as a blog post (see examples at
  • Mohammad commented travel grants are useful, depending on the location and purpose. To be reviewed/approved case-by-case. AfricaGIS will be in Rwanda. ICRAF will be there. Jawoo noted CIAT will participate too.
  • Many agreed mini-grants are good too! We supported to publish two useful datasets. Let’s continue this.
  • As a key research question of the year, Chandra suggests “How can (geospatial) big data support sustainable intensification?” Chandra attended a UN meeting in Romania where this was discussed. Jawoo noted Big Data’s effort to feature a similar conversation in the Big Data Convention.
  • In terms of the geospatial data platform, should we build our own? Jawoo responded this may not be easy to continue funding and sustain. Rather, Jawoo proposed to focus on the data and contents.
  • Speaking of Shared Services, are we using GBDX enough, usefully? IFPRI, ICRISAT, IITA, ICARDA use it to different extents. Challenges exist in finding cloud-free imagery. Need all are very good at Python. Documentation is not straightforward. Technical support is not always very helpful. Image ordering process is somewhat convoluted and confusing (e.g., different results from different processes). Simple tasks sometimes take longer than they should be. Let’s organize a webinar to share the experiences and learning.
  • Where to meet this year? Previous options included the SI Innovation Lab (UC Davis), AfricaGIS in Kigali, Global CSA in Bali, or Big Data Convention in Hyderabad.
  • Re. the Writing Workshop (by Andy), let’s work on a position paper or review paper. This will help raise visibility of community and also to raise funding for collaborative activities. What would be the general topic of interests? Can we agree on a topic/area with sufficient interests from enough centers?
  • Suggested topic: Sustainable intensification-relevant topic, how big data can be linked. Also to link with the EAT Lancet report (eat, grow, nutrition, etc. for SDGs). Or, more technically, what skillsets are required for geospatial analysis for the (SI, SDG, etc.). Rather than review, let’s develop a position like: this is challenge, this is action, this is areas require specific actions (from geospatial points of view). This should be an inclusive topic relevant for all Centers. Can’t be a business-as-usual anymore! Deadline will be December 31, by then a draft should be deposited on a public repository. Might be the best to make the writing workshop as an add-on event to the CSI meeting this year.
  • Chandra proposed to organize a Drone in Agriculture demo day as a pre-event in October before the Big Data Convention. He is contacting some local partners. We will set some budget aside in case needed for logistics, etc.

Action Items

  • Jawoo to conduct a community-wide survey on the venue of in-person community meeting.
  • Andy to organize a writing workshop during the AfricaGIS Conference.
  • Chandra to organize a Drone in Agriculture event as a side-event to the 2019 Big Data Convention in Hyderabad.