Towards data democracy in digital agriculture

Peter Dahlhaus1,2, Helen Thompson1, Andrew MacLeod1

1 Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Vic, 3350,

2 Corresponding author:


The present era provides unprecedented volumes of data that could be available to decision models and tools that can be used to grow the production and profitability of Australian agriculture.  The challenge is in providing equitable access to all the available data – public and private – in a seamless manner, regardless of its disparate custodianship and collective heterogeneity.  Implementing data democracy requires both the technology to interoperably federate data as well as the motivations for custodians to provide their data for all to benefit.  A research project being undertaken in the Corangamite region in Victoria is successfully implementing a model in which numerous soil health data sets owned and managed by a variety of custodians are brought together in a single web-portal.  A number of use-cases were developed with end-users to identify the required web-portal functions.  Data contributors are rewarded with a greater understanding of their soils both historical and present status, and the wider community, which includes land managers and other stakeholders, have access to increased soil health information that enables more informed decision-making in catchment management activities across the region.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

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David Marland Photography Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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