Whether you work directly with spatial data or simply reap the benefits by tapping into mapped data products, you’ve probably heard of Esri. Esri is the global leader in Geographic Information System (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications. Without Esri some of HarvestChoice’s more complex spatial tools, such as MAPPR, ADVIZR and AgMarketFinder, would not exist. Specifically, Esri powers the base map and geoprocessing services that HarvestChoice uses to deliver spatial data and tools to its website users.
If you happen to browse Esri’s corporate website today, you’ll see what we hope to be an increasingly familiar image for practitioners working to improve food security and sustainable production systems in sub-Saharan Africa: a user-generated HarvestChoice map that might help in solving Africa’s hunger, poverty, and environmental challenges. HarvestChoice is proud to be featured on the homepage of Esri’s website (www.esri.com), with an illustration of the “market finder” function of the HarvestChoice MAPPR tool (www.harvestchoice.org/mappr).This is welcome recognition and publicity, especially in the early days of our newly launched and totally revamped website.
What is this map telling us? Thanks to active collaboration of the HarvestChoice team at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), SpatialDev International, and Esri’s Applications Prototype Lab, the featured map shows different bands of travel time from any user-selected location in sub-Saharan Africa, and (not shown in this image) provides estimates of the agricultural production, livestock and human populations found within those different travel time bands. This can help traders, input and service providers, processors, exporters and others assess the likely viability of any location as a base for their activities. Linking key agricultural data to market access is one way in which HarvestChoice tries to support decision making and investment in sub-Saharan Africa. And because our web-based tools do the hard work, you don’t need to be GIS specialist.
We’re also proud to say this isn’t the first time Esri has featured the products of HarvestChoice. Here's the CEO of Esri, Jack Dangermond, presenting AgMarketFinder at the Where2.0 Conference.