Open data’s contribution to better research for development: The example of RTBMap

Originally published at CIAT blogs

RTBMaps is a flagship online atlas developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) that provides all sorts of geographic information on RTB crops worldwide for the benefit of the research and development community. RTBMaps just received the ComputerWorld 2014 Data+ Editors’ Choice Award for its innovative use of big data analytics for informed decision making.

RTBMaps aggregates individual maps provided by researchers and scientists around the world through “scientific crowdsourcing”, hence compiling a wealth of critical variables onto a unique world map. The atlas currently counts 32 different overlays of variables ranging from RTB crop distribution, soil constraints, susceptibility to pests and diseases, and socio-economic data such as vulnerability to failed harvests, the incidence of malnutrition in children and others. Participating researchers are also expected to share information on variety evaluations done in their regions.

RTBMaps is the result of the collaboration between GIS specialists from CIAT, the International Potato Center (CIP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Bioversity International.

For more information visit the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas