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Agricultural Field Delineation from Satellite Imagery

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Posted November 5, 2018

World agricultural output must continue to increase to meet the demand of the growing population. Remote sensing, especially from satellite resources, has been of tremendous value in tracking agricultural productivity and estimating farm yields by observing changes in plant health.

However these techniques only inform us of plant health and its correlate to productivity, and not the more complex farming and crop system practices. Field boundaries, as seen as a unit of production, could provide this insight into how farm practices are changing.

This information though is only valuable at regional to continental scales, and if done repeatably. So far many studies have focused on small geographic areas, with only a few tackling large scale areas. These approaches are also biased to either extreme of agriculture field size – the large homogenous fields of the Midwestern US or the heterogeneous fields of sub-Saharan African.

Image credit: Jialiang Gao, www.peace-on-earth.org via Wikimedia, GFDL/CC-BY-SA-2.5

The Seeker for this Challenge, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), is soliciting ideas for a system that can rapidly, accurately, and automatically delineate agricultural field outlines from satellite imagery. The proposed system must ideally be applicable to large homogenous fields typical of the Midwestern United States as well as heterogeneous fields typically found in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on November 19, 2018.

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

Source: innocentive.com

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