Australian Tree Map Tool Honored

Ernie NeffAwards, International

The Australian Tree Crop Map Dashboard won first place at the 2021 Esri User Conference. The conference is the world’s largest event dedicated to geographic information system technology.

The tool is freely available and interactively summarizes the extent of avocado, citrus, macadamia and mango orchards, banana plantations and olive groves. It helps those industries make informed and timely decisions for biosecurity and natural disaster responses. According to the dashboard, Australia has 35,709 hectares of citrus orchards.

The dashboard was developed by Craig Shephard and Joel McKechnie, researchers from the University of New England’s Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre.

Shephard and McKechnie started developing the dashboard in 2020. Their research supports Australia’s avocado, citrus, macadamia, mango, banana and olive industries. The dashboard was developed in response to the industries’ needs to better understand the extent (area and location of production) of their commercial operations.

Citrus Australia stated that the dashboard’s essential base layer of data will ultimately support decision-making processes related to traceability, resource management, yield forecasting, water security, soil health and carbon storage. Citrus Australia, established in 2008, is a non-profit company representing the nation’s commercial citrus growers. It is supported by more than 300 grower and affiliate members.

All applications developed by Shephard and McKechnie as part of Multi-Scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops: Phase 2 can be viewed here.

Multi-Scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops: Phase 2 is being funded by Hort Innovation using the citrus industry levy. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture. Andrew Robson, director of the Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre, is the project lead. Shephard and McKechnie manage the mapping component and outputs of this research.  

Source: Citrus Australia

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