Precision Agriculture Pilot

For more information please contact the project lead - jlieberman [at] (subject: Precision%20Agriculture%20Pilot%20Involvement) (Joshua Lieberman), Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.



Precision Agriculture benefits society

Precision Agriculture is farming management based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops. (source: Wikipedia).  Precision Agriculture enables decision support systems for whole farm management with the goal of optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources.

Government and societies’ support for agriculture relies on the efficient exchange by growers of information on the geographic extent and status of agricultural activities and related water and land resources. Food security, food safety, and sustainable use of land resources require the sharing of information about agriculture with the food industry, with government, and also with citizens who increasingly want to know the provenance of their food.

The same management principles can be used to maintain professional soccer fields. For example, optimizing the use of smart irrigation systems on soccer and golf fields.  

Precision Agriculture is Information Intensive – most of it is Spatial and Temporal

Spatial data and geospatially enabled technologies are critical to today's agriculture. Farmers and growers increasingly use spatial data to improve production practices. New technologies allow us to gather more agricultural data than ever before at finer and finer spatial and temporal resolutions but bring associated challenges for data management and integration, system and data interoperability, data analysis, and sharing, and particularly for data privacy and trust. Such challenges highlight the urgent need for standards and best practices.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has been at the forefront of creating standards for the spatial industry for more than 24 years, and in that time has developed a rapid, inclusive, innovative, and effective user-driven method to create open, agreed-upon standards designed to benefit the industry - and community - as a whole.

Figure Source: CEMA


OGC Precision Agriculture Pilot Project


The Location Powers: Agriculture Summit held in New Zealand in December 2017 discussed the need to advance a Precision Agriculture Pilot to advance standards-based interoperability for agriculture information sharing.

The Pilot will run as an Initiative of the OGC Innovation Program, which provides a fast-paced setting for geospatial technology users and providers to work collaboratively in an agile development environment to develop, evolve, test, demonstrate and validate standards under marketplace conditions. Such initiatives have proven to:


  • Reduce technology risk through accelerating development, testing and acceptance of interoperability standards with the refinement of standards and best practices

  • Expand the market and improve choice by encouraging industry adoption of new standards and best practices, ensuring market availability of interoperable solutions

  • Mobilize new technologies through providing participants with real world experience and a platform to innovate while driving early adoption of standards

  • Provide cost effective method for sponsors and participants to share expertise and development while gaining early marketplace insight and advantage

Benefits to Sponsors of the Precision Agriculture Pilot include:

  • Assess and affect market direction based on sponsor’s needs

  • Visibility as global leader in information technology critical to smarter cities

  • Amplification of funding by multiple sponsors’ common/similar problems

  • Leveraging effort up to 3.5 times based on participant in-kind effort

  • Accelerated process for workable interface specifications in 4-6 months

  • Follow-on procurements using proven standards-based architecture

  • Leading to safer and more efficient cities.

The Precision Agriculture Pilot builds on previous OGC Pilot Implementation initiatives. This past experience shows results across the spectrum of spatial information systems

  • Aviation Pilot produced proven standards that are now operational for sharing of civilian aeronautical information management (AIM)

  • Empire Challenge Pilot enabled sharing of sensor data in the defense and intelligence domain based on the OGC Sensor Web Enablement standards.

  • GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilots defined the architecture for the Group on Earth Observations tested through an initial operating capability.

  • Arctic Data Pilot demonstrating the diversity, richness and value of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to Arctic stakeholders.

  • Future City Pilot demonstrated how use of CityGML and IFC together to enhance financial, environmental, and social outcomes for citizens living in cities.

OGC IP initiatives listed here.

OGC Precision Agriculture Pilot Process

  • Call for Sponsors – Press release announcing the pilot and seeking organizations to work with OGC in considering sponsoring the pilot.

  • Call for Participants – Initial pilot architecture as approved by the Sponsors and directions on how to propose are publicly announced.

  • Participant selection – Proposals to the CFP are evaluated by OGC staff with recommended selection confirmed by the Sponsors.

  • Pilot execution – Beginning with a kickoff workshop and ending in demonstrations, the development effort by the participants using online collaboration methods.

  • Demonstrations – Demonstrations of new capabilities in several cities with scenario and data based on the city using a common architecture.

  • Production and publication of engineering reports, best practices, draft specifications and change requests.

  • Follow-on standards development in the OGC Standards Program

Deliverables of the OGC pilot:

  • Testing of running software from several organizations to insure interoperability of the independently developed implementations based on open standards;

  • Demonstration of policy oriented scenarios with the deployed code.  These scenarios show the previously unavailable capability from a non-technical point of view.

  • Documentation of the results of the architecture, testing and demonstration.  The reports then become the basis of procurement activities of the operational system.


For more information contact Director of OGC’s Innovation Program Josh Lierberman jlieberman [at]