Award for tree crop map puts Aussie research on the global stage

Congratulations to Craig Shephard and Joel McKechnie, researchers from the University of New England’s Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre, who have won first place for their Australian Tree Crop Map Dashboard (ATCM Dashboard) at the 2021 Esri User Conference. 

The conference (Esri UC), which is held in San Diego in the US, is the world's largest event dedicated to geographic information system (GIS) technology with 50,000 delegates attending this year’s event. Showcasing one of the most wide-ranging and comprehensive collections of GIS work in the world, it can indicate trends and influences shifts in technical and cartographic practice. 

Work on the dashboard began in 2020 as part of the Multi-scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops: Phase 2 research project. This research is supported by Hort Innovation and six Australian industries: avocado, citrus, macadamia, mango, banana and olive.

It was developed in response to the need of these industries to better understand the extent (area and location of production) of their commercial operations >1 ha. The tool is freely available and interactively summarises the extent of avocado, citrus, macadamia and mango orchards, banana plantations and olive groves, and supports these industries to make informed and timely decisions around biosecurity and natural disaster responses.  

All applications developed by Craig Shephard and Joel McKechnie as part of Multi-scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops: Phase 2 can been viewed here: www.une.edu.au/webapps 

Multi-scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops: Phase 2 is a part of the Rural R&D for profit scheme. This project 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.  Professor Andrew Robson the Director of the Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre is the project lead with Craig Shephard and Joel McKechnie managing the mapping component and outputs of this research.   

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