Agricultural Ontologies in Use: The GEMS Platform

The Ontologies Community of Practice is engaged in the development of ontologies for agricultural research. In a series of blog posts, we’ll take a look at ongoing ontologies projects and developments.

GEMS (Genetics, Environment, Management, Socioeconomics) is a novel agroinformatics platform that has been under development at the University of Minnesota for the past three and half years. It is a joint venture led by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI). The platform is designed to make genomics, environmental, management and socioeconomic data functionally interoperable at varying spatial and temporal scales to enable data-driven innovation in agriculture along the entire innovation pipeline-technology discovery, deployment and (economic and environmental) stewardship. The overall goal is to promote sustainable productivity growth in agriculture.

Some key features of GEMS include its smart data sharing capabilities which support open, private and partner-pooled data, a growing suite of data cleaning, imputation and standardization tools, and the ability to do high-end analytics within the platform.

GEMS has engaged with the ontology community, and in particular CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture’s Ontologies Community of Practice, toward the goal of improving the standardization and interoperability of data.

 

GEMS has active partnerships with a growing group of public and private sector organizations, including USDA, Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, Genomes to Field, Soil Health Partnership, PepsiCo, the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, Embrapa, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Diversity Arrays Technology, University of Adelaide, and Stellenbosch University among others.

Recent developments have focused on creating a federated hub of the GEMS platform at Stellenbosch University, South Africa and improving the mapping of user-input data onto ontological frameworks. GEMS also supports a significant Agricultural Internet of Things (AIoT) effort to develop and deploy a system of low-cost, plug and play, networked sensors. The AIoT streams directly to the GEMS platform, which captures, integrates, and processes ground-sensed data along with complementary remote-sensed inputs.

Click here to learn more about GEMS.

September 30, 2019

Kevin Silverstein, PhD

GEMS Operations Manager
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis United States of America

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