e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture

A bibliometric study

The e-ROSA project seeks to build a shared vision of a future sustainable e-infrastructure for research and education in agriculture in order to promote Open Science in this field and as such contribute to addressing related societal challenges. In order to achieve this goal, e-ROSA’s first objective is to bring together the relevant scientific communities and stakeholders and engage them in the process of coelaboration of an ambitious, practical roadmap that provides the basis for the design and implementation of such an e-infrastructure in the years to come.

This website highlights the results of a bibliometric analysis conducted at a global scale in order to identify key scientists and associated research performing organisations (e.g. public research institutes, universities, Research & Development departments of private companies) that work in the field of agricultural data sources and services. If you have any comment or feedback on the bibliometric study, please use the online form.

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Geoportals: trying to tackle tempting technology


My initiation into this research topic on the Dutch GI sector was on 14 September 2005. Even before I began my official appointment at the university, I went with my PhD supervisor-to-be to a Geoportals project meeting in Utrecht, held in a meeting room at a participating organisation. This was the project I was supposed to study for my research project: 'Success and Failure Factors of Geoportals'. It was assumed I would participate in the project, monitoring the process and, if appropriate, do a limited amount of consultancy work. It was scheduled to run from early 2005 until the end of 2008, so it was already up and running when I officially commenced my research. During the job selection procedure, I had read the project proposal together with some other information, so I had an idea of what to expect. The project aimed at the disclosure and thematic dissemination of geoinformation. A consortium of 13 organisations was formed to establish different portals, indicated by colours: a red portal for geoinformation on the built environment, a green portal for nature and agriculture, etc. There had been a few meetings before, but the project was still in its initial phase. Ten of us had gathered in a meeting room adjacent to the canteen, separated from the regular offices, so the venue had a somewhat neutral atmosphere. I got the impression that a core group of people knew each other quite well while some others were new to the group and to each other. Representing the participating organisations, from both the (semi-) public and private sector, they were all technically skilled to some extent. This was the team that would manage the whole project. The discussion that emerged during that meeting gave me the impression that the participants were determined to build a software system to support a website that would disclose geodata from different sources, with all the design, programming and implementation that this entailed. When introducing myself to the group, I sensed some aloofness, but when I explained my technical background the participants became more at ease. As soon as they found out that I had mastered most of the jargon used during discussions the atmosphere became even more relaxed. It felt as if they had accepted me not only as an observer but also as a participant. The group was very determined and wanted to make something of the project. At the same time they were very insecure about how to select standards. Standardisation was perceived as absolutely necessary in order to be able to connect different sets of data. During the discussion on which standards to apply, it was often mentioned that standards were important but not really an issue, at least not an issue worth discussing, because it was quite obvious to them that only relevant and current standards should be implemented. But while discussing other (considered more important) subjects, they always came back to the question of standards selection. They did not want to see standardisation as an issue, but actually it was, leading to agonies of doubt. Some discussion was devoted to the fact that the Kadaster was not participating in Geoportals; this made them feel both insecure and heroic. I had already noticed that the Kadaster was considered the largest player in the GI field. Its absence gave the participants the impression that the Kadaster saw Geoportals as having no strategic value. Did the Kadaster, together with the whole GI sector, feel that Geoportals would certainly fail? This made them feel insecure about the success, but in a way, it also gave them strength. The independence of Geoportals from large organisations such as the Kadaster could possibly be a success factor, but the general opinion about this matter was one of great insecurity. The team members believed that Geoportals, by connecting different geodata sources, could generate new geoinformation. Geoportals was discussed as a part of the Dutch National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). That fact invoked discussion on the name: Geoportals was considered old-fashioned. On the one hand, it was seen as having connotations of a counter in some government building where people have to queue. On the other, it was a concept the general public could relate to: a one-stop-shop for geoinformation. It was suggested that participants should look for alternatives, but nobody believed that the ultimate name would pop up. There were mixed feelings about how to reach customers and users, and, most of all, about how to define and recognise them. It was acknowledged that this topic needed more elaboration and consideration, because the participants had only limited knowledge of it. While facts and feelings about how to approach the customer were expressed and exchanged, the discussion detoured more than once towards the technical aspects of Geoportals. The project was divided into work packages to keep it manageable: the geoportal framework, the geoportal network, cases, demonstrators, and scientific research and project management. All the work packages were put on the agenda awaiting discussion, but only the framework and network received serious attention. This gave the project members an opportunity to present and discuss drawings of the system architecture. These were passed round and discussed and some PowerPoint slides were presented on a screen. Eventually the discussions narrowed down to the question of how to connect different databases in such a way that data from different sources could be combined to generate new information. The only topic more or less outside the technical realm was a discussion about the use of standards, but the meeting did not lead to a definition of which standards should be used.

  • LB
  • NL
  • DK
  • Univ_Amsterdam_UvA (NL)
  • Erasmus_Univ_Med_Ctr (NL)
Data keywords
  • knowledge
  • data infrastructure
Agriculture keywords
  • agriculture
Data topic
  • information systems
  • sensors
Document type

Inappropriate format for Document type, expected simple value but got array, please use list format

Institutions 10 co-publis
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    e-ROSA - e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730988.
    Disclaimer: The sole responsibility of the material published in this website lies with the authors. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.