CSIRO maps grain belt paddock boundaries from space

By on 11 August, 2020

An ePadddocks screenshot showing paddock boundaries in Victoria. Image: CSIRO.

Australia’s science agency has used artificial intelligence and Earth observation data to map the boundaries of paddocks across Australia’s grain belt — all 1.7 million of them.

The CSIRO announced that the technology has been commercially released as a data product named ePaddocks, aimed at helping agriculturalists transition to digital management practices by eliminating the need to redraw their own paddock data each season, for each service they use.

CSIRO remote sensing specialist Dr. Franz Waldner said that paddock boundaries aren’t historically recorded anywhere, unlike property boundaries.

“Paddock boundaries have been highly sought after in the digital agriculture world for a little while now, but we’ve tackled it over the past year or so with new technologies and solved it,” he said.

“Our method only needs one satellite image taken at any point in the growing season to distinguish the boundaries. It relies on data driven processes and decisions rather than assumptions about what’s on the ground. It will set the standard for similar geospatial products.”

It’s a big claim, but an impressive feat. Dr. Waldner said that ePaddocks can identify paddock boundaries season to season, but does not identify properties or landowner data.

ePaddocks is available to purchase from CSIRO’s Ag Climate Data shop.

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