WorldCereal, an EO based system for global cropland monitoring

WorldCereal aims to develop an efficient, agile and robust EO based system for timely global crop monitoring at field scale. 

The OpenSource WorldCereal system will be able to:

  • Create local to global annual cropland extent maps at 10 m resolution
  • Update the crop maps on a seasonal basis
  • Differentiate between actively irrigated and rainfed fields
  • Produce global maps of maize and wheat, two of the major staple crops

WorldCereal is a global R&D challenge aiming to engage the global agricultural community to achieve optimal results.



Within WorldCereal we have 4 specific objectives.

  • Demonstrate feasibility of global open-source and transparant crop mapping at field scale based on open EO datasets
  • Use existing cloud data providers, cloud computing capabilities and ICT infrastructure
  • Interact and collaborate with the global agricultural user community
  • Collaborate with local and global experts in the field to demonstrate WorldCereal 

WorldCereal aims to open and share agricultural reference data and support open science

Collecting reference data

To generate accurate cropland and crop type maps, high quality reference data is indispensable for both training classification algorithms and validation of the final products. Therefore, WorldCereal would like to engage with major domain players to stimulate and facilitate opening and sharing of reference data. By building an extensive network of partners and following a collaborative approach such agricultural data can be made available, accessible and reusable for the larger community.

Are you able to share a dataset or part of a dataset, discover the incentives and become one of the WorldCereal data providers. Collecting and harmonizing reference data will create a stronger knowledge base for further and more impactful research and data science. As a WorldCereal data provider you will contribute to advance the state-of-the-art of global crop mapping and be at the forefront of this global innovative initiative.

To strengthen and complement such general incentives, WorldCereal has specific benefits when joining our initiative:


  • WorldCereal will involve you in project activities, allowing you to have first-hand access to information and to benefit from co-development and evolving added value products.
  • Enhance visibility of your published data through the WorldCereal platform.
  • Specific solutions on data exchange with major players that serves both, WorldCereal mutual needs and the needs of the wider community.
  • WorldCereal could support you with knowledge and (limited) financial support to attend workshops and to support in data curation and open data publishing.
  • First access to reference data, recently collected and harmonized by WorldCereal.
  • Write joint papers with WorldCereal partners.
  • Attribution by WorldCereal of your contribution in all our communication and dissemination activities.
  • WorldCereal will involve you in new initiatives that will evolve from our activities.


WorldCereal counts on the global agricultural monitoring community to share high-quality in-situ data to train and validate the custom-developed crop classification algorithms.

To kickstart the WorldCereal project, the team organized an online agricultural survey to collect as many reference data as possible, and performed interviews with key user to refine the user requirements. Project Coordinator Sven Gilliams shares some first results!

We are currently making an inventory of agricultural reference datasets. In particular, we are looking for spatially explicit information on land cover (cropland extent), crop type and irrigation practices. If you are willing and able to share a dataset or a part of a dataset, we would kindly lik

A collaborative approach to make agricultural data available, accessible and reusable


WordCereal will be supported by the WorldCereal Champion users as well as a professional user network for in situ data collection, co-validation of the products and to showcase the usage.

WorldCereal recognizes the essential expertise of the agricultural user community to achieve well calibrated products at the global scale. For this reason, and to maximize and showcase the usability of the system and generated products, WorldCereal will be co-designed with the users, through several use cases that are related to GEOGLAM and the SDGs. The selected key user organizations will set the requirements for the WorldCereal products and system. They will also validate and assess the utility of the products and support the consortium with access to reference data sets and their expertise on agricultural mapping and monitoring.