Reference data for global crop mapping

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 engages 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.

Global research tends to adopt more and more an open approach towards open science and the sharing of research data as a public good 1 2 3. Such practices are often encouraged or even required by many of the large global research funders. Following this general movement towards data sharing and open science, WorldCereal's approach is to provide data, including reference data, as a commons under open licensing where possible. We strongly believe that the provision of open data will be an important multiplier for the eventual benefits for society. It will also further promote open science in the food security domain, increasing the impact of individual research data providers and the global research community.


Become a WorldCereal data provider


What do we propose?

WorldCereal proposes to join forces and collaborate in a network to open and exchange reference data, contributing to improve local, regional and global crop mapping products. Currently we are exclusively focusing on a very limited set of key data (e.g. crop type, location and timestamp). Following the commons approach, we prefer that reference data is shared under an open license.

What do we offer?

We offer an opportunity to participate and contribute to advance the state-of-the-art of global crop mapping and be at the forefront of this global innovative initiative. There are many incentives to open available research data for the public good. When opening and sharing reference data with WorldCereal you will also contribute to the monitoring of several SDGs, specifically related to food security and zero hunger, which adds to fulfilling corporate social responsibility objectives. Obviously, the collaborative collection and harmonization of reference data will eventually create a stronger knowledge base for further and more impactful research and data science for any organization involved.

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

  • 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.
  • Write joint papers with WorldCereal partners.
  • WorldCereal will involve you in the GEOGLAM in situ data working group

How to provide data?

Continue to apply for a login and provide reference data sets. These data sets will be curated before publication.


Open and free EO data

WorldCereal uses open and free data form the Copernicus Sentinel as well as the USGS's Landsat satellites, as well as meteorological data and a digital elevation model, which helps to reflect variations in growing seasons at different altitudes.