Innovation Bridge Program

The Field Boundary Initiative is the Taylor Geospatial Engine’s first instantiation of the Innovation Bridge Program. It aims to gather experts to collaborate at the intersection of satellite imagery, cloud data sharing and machine learning (ML) for agricultural datasets. The initiative will center around creating and updating field boundaries derived from satellite imagery using ML models and increasing the interoperability of agricultural data. Our goal is to explore, and begin to define, an open data ecosystem, using learnings from open initiatives like Linux Foundation and OpenStreetMap to enable collaboration across diverse organizations that enables an ecosystem of innovation.

While holding a vision of creating a global field boundary dataset, the work during the Initiative will be on concrete steps that enable progress today, including common data schemas, harmonization of existing datasets (both open and proprietary), ML model development, and making it easier to discover and work with good training data for AI/ML algorithms. The full initiative will run for around six months, funding cutting edge academic research and facilitating the collaboration between industry, academia, NGO’s and government. The overall initiative will be primarily virtual, through collaboration on GitHub (for open code & data schemas) and Source Cooperative.

We’re kicking off the initiative on Feb 26-28, 2024 at the Knight Center on the Washington University in St. Louis campus. We’re holding an in-person workshop with a few sessions available for remote attendance. During the kick-off, we hope to:

  • Catalyze a community of aligned, action-oriented collaborators who are excited to work together openly towards an audacious goal through incrementally useful, technically oriented, achievable iterations that push things forward.
  • Connect as humans, to enable more trust and easier collaboration in continued virtual environments.
  • Jointly create a clearer picture of the achievable iterations we’ll do directly with TGE in the next six months, deciding what concrete steps are within reach and making sure they will be valuable.
  • Align on a shared broader vision and the aligned efforts we’ll all work on to complement the core.
  • Figure out:
    1. Who else is important to involve in the next steps,
    2. What events and activities we can undertake to continue to build momentum, and
    3. How to secure sustained funding for continued collaborations post-initiative.
  • Ship a version 0.1 release of a field boundary core schema, with sample data and validation tools. Our goal is not just to talk, but to actually ‘do’, and to ‘release early and often’ in order to connect with the broader community.

If we do our jobs correctly, the kick-off will build bonds and spark fruitful collaboration for the rest of the initiative.