• Hashtags:

    #earth, #fooddirections, #intermediate


    [email protected]


    Model, Imagery, Platform, Data Visualization, Citizen Science


    Based on existing food production capacity, experts believe we could feed everyone in the world -- if we did a better job managing and distributing it. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the most impoverished regions of the world will be hit hardest with any changes to the climate. Available arable land should be used sensibly and sustainably to address the world's food needs. An improved understanding of where our food is grown, and where it ends up, could influence decision making related to food needs. Learning more about where food is grown and distributed on Earth could potentially inform future space explorers on techniques to use during long-duration spaceflights.


    This is a challenge to identify and visualize the current capacity and potential of countries to be self-sufficient in the provision of food for their populations, and to map how current global food needs are met through reliance on international food trade.

    Recent land cover maps (using satellite derived/ crowdsourced data) can be used to estimate the spatial area of cropland. Country level land cover usage data, where available, could be used to categorize and quantify current cropland use including for example: growth of food staples for direct human consumption; cash crops e.g. cocoa or coffee; crops grown for animal feed; pastures used for animal rearing; crops used for fuel/ manufacturing; and wasteland. Along with crop import and export data, this could be a useful tool for improved identification of food needs, and food insecurity stemming from inefficiencies related to land usage and unsustainable trade. In addition to it being an educative interactive tool, with enough inputs it could also be a useful tool for resource management. Following the initial development, this could be worked on in conjunction with statistics orientated institutions and it could provide useful additional information for early warning systems related to food security.


    This challenge relies on the availability of recent land cover maps and government statistics related to crop yields and export/ import quantities of crops. As a starting point, the focus could be on a few demonstration countries for which the required data is available, with a vision to extending the functionality globally.

    This challenge could involve development of a map based application, incorporating the following:
    • Existing raster layers of land cover data, including arable land/ pastures (there are satellite derived and crowd sourced products available).
    • A method to quantify land suitable for growing crops within a country's boundaries (or preferably use of existing data if available).
    • Categorized identification of arable land use in terms of what the end product is used for, e.g.:
      • growing food staples for human consumption
      • cash crops e.g. cocoa or coffee
      • growing crops specifically for animal feed
      • pastures used for animal rearing
      • growing crops for the fuel and manufacturing industries
      • Arable land that is currently unused/ wasteland.
    • Government statistics (where available) related to overall yields and yields of various crops produced within the country, and the quantities of crops imported and exported (ideally categorized as staple crops/ cash crops/ animal feed/ crops used for fuel etc.)
    • Development of an interesting way to present the output information, so that each country's food production and food trade patterns can be easily understood. Possibly a template infographic could be used to display the data for each country, or a set of interactive maps showing the intertwining trade between countries.
    • Citizen science - it would be interesting to incorporate a forum for open discussion, where citizens can discuss current trade practices/ sustainability issues.

    Advanced applications could involve:
    • Development of an index to determine the idealistic potential of each country to be self-sufficient in provision of food for the people living there, based on the population and the availability of arable land.
    • Development of an index/ assessment approach to determine how sustainable each country's current approach is, based on the sensibility of land use and the import/ export trade.
    • Mapping of historical variability in these indices.
    • Incorporation of additional economic/ environmental/ livelihood factors, e.g. crop pricing, vulnerability to climate change, human development index etc.

    Sample Resources(Participants do not have to use these resources, and NASA in no way endorses any particular entity listed).

  • The following projects are solving this challenge:

    • FoodMatch

      Since we can literally stop world hunger we intend to try to achieve awareness about it since its becoming a serious problem in the last few decades.We will try and get people involved as much as we can by seeing and realizing the problem on their own using our platform and have fun at the same t... Visit Project

    • FoodEx

      With continuous growth for human population on Earth, food security became a real critical problem. Many spots on Earth are suffering poverty food starvation and lack of essential food supplements. Although humans on Earth through last decade have made a huge progress in communication, electronic... Visit Project

    • Geo-Food

      Using all available information to meet the challenge of food security for Africa,, as long as it is still a rural continent can feed itself as long as the starving is clear problem there. However my Idea is to use mix-use analysis to provide food security for 10 years minimum for African with le... Visit Project

    • SpaceSeeder

      Collect available free data to help grow and sustain crop in a better manner. Doesn't matter if you're a farmer or just trying to grow something in your own garden a usable interface with analyzed data to help you grow the best thing suitable for your land. This data is usually available free but... Visit Project

    • The Silk Road of Crops

      For more access from external human resources, and educational usage of open data Visit Project

    • foodcompass

      A platform for detecting food directions and prediction. Visit Project

    • Food Direction kathmandu

      To give information about foods and crops that are suitable for a particular area and whose production can help reduce food insecurity to the concerned peoples specially farmers. We are using Leaflet maps and mapbox. We are using multiple layers for types of crops like cash crops, food crops et... Visit Project

    • UnicornsOfLove

      We developed a web service that can be used to visualise production, import and export of food resources for countries around the world. Countries can also use the service to make a better food distribution plan for the future. The service takes in mind the open data available on the internet to ... Visit Project

    • Food Directions Team AUi

      In this project, we developed a mapping tool that can be used in knowing the current situations of the world countries in terms of food imports and exports. As we do not have enough programming skills, we just tried to clarify the idea that other people can go further with and try to implement i... Visit Project

    • Maguro

      :: 1 Maguro Visit Project

    • SpaceOponix

      We know that the future of astronomy is dictated by our ability to grow food in space but we don't know how to do it since plants genetics are made for earth gravity. Visit Project

    • Food Directions

      the project is a yield maximization and optimization code that is used to future plan for better production Visit Project

    • Eclipse

      Our idea of solving this problem or challenge is creating a system which will automatically manage and distribute food resources and make international food trade suggestions between continents, states and regions. Visit Project

    • Euthenia

      Food security is a widely discussed issue both in academic community and public society at the moment. What is it and why does it arouse so much attention and interests across different public sections? According to Food and Agricultural organization of the UN, Food security exists when all peopl... Visit Project

    • Foodi

      ![alt text](http://i62.tinypic.com/5f0mlk.png "") Our Aim --------- Using this cool map based web tool, educators, investors, scientists and decision makers can see the food production and distribution across the world to tackle the world food in sustainable ways. An improved and interact... Visit Project

    • Food Origins

      # Food Origins We're making the global food supply chain tangible. ## How? By creating a tool to help people understand the global supply chain and how it affects them as they shop at their local supermarket. It's an app in which users can take a photo of the barcode on a food product a... Visit Project

    • How does your garden grow?

      Can we ever solve the problem of World Hunger and World poverty. If World Hunger could be eliminated, can it be said that World Poverty would follow suit? And in turn would it enable World Peace. The Food Direction Challenge is an ambitious attempt to solve the problem of World Hunger. Smar... Visit Project

    • Demeter

      Born in 2015, Demetr helps to connect people around the world in conversation about awarness of food production and distribution. We look to develop communities with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of those impacted by hunger. We're using the IBM BlueMix to host our web app for visualizi... Visit Project

    • Food Around The Earth (FATE)

      On 2050 we are going to supply nine billions people around the world and decrease the famine crisis on poor regions by applying improvement of certain crop methods depending on the variables (weather, accessibility...) and needs of every single region around the world. The country will be able t... Visit Project

    • Snicec

      <span> World hunger is an universal problem and Africa is the most continent affected. Our challenge is to build an application to make complicated data and statistics, readable and fun for all people. In order to bring empathy to our cause and make general awareness for people who don't know... Visit Project

    • Food Traffic LIght

      Our app aims to improve global datasets by making uploading crop data easy and even fun! Crowdsourced information about the quantities of crops imported and exported will complement official datasets and allow for better food resource management in the future. Learn See how production compar... Visit Project

    • World Food Distribution

      Our model will lead other countries to reframe food production capacity development through a universal imagery platform design that integrates crowd sourced data and government agency data that maps how current global food needs are met through the reliance on international food trade. Based on... Visit Project

    • Saturn

      Hunger kills more people than AIDS,malaria, and tuberculosis all together(1), The number of hungry people exceeds the population of U.S., Canada, and the European Union combined(2) !!! This application aims to end the world's hunger and maintain a healthy population all over the world.This is by ... Visit Project

    • Can you feed me?

      Overview: ------------- This app attempts to bring awareness to the simple question, can you be fed? The UN calculates that with the current global food store, everyone COULD be fed. This is based on your location (country-level) and the amount of food actually available (not how it is dispe... Visit Project

    • Food Map

      This project will assist the government and International bodies like RedCross and UNHCR in planning for cases of Famine when they strike in Kenya. This will be achieved through Crowd sourcing information on food distribution across the country and avert severe cases of Drought through efficient ... Visit Project

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    Food Directions Hackpad: https://spaceapps2015.hackpad.com/7RP554GHNaI