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SGTU and Weather Company Announce ‘Open Data Weather Lab’, for Joint Academic Research and Communications on Weather

Weather impacts every person on the planet and is one of the largest external factors impacting businesses.  Yet many communities, businesses, and research institutions don’t have the tools they need to help prepare and respond to weather events.  As part of the collaboration, SGT University aims to leverage valuable insights from weather data provided by The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and drive research on the impact of weather on streams such as agriculture, engineering, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and others, in addition to facilitating student & faculty learning and providing an incubation platform for startups and corporate.

There is currently an urgent need for inter-disciplinary engagement on issues pertaining to weather and climate change. With the ‘Open Data Weather Lab’, we aim to address these issues through academia-driven efforts by opening up the enterprise-grade weather data from The Weather Company’s Solutions and Data APIs and making it accessible for our research projects. We also intend to invite data scientists to facilitate industry-oriented research work for businesses in private and public sectors under added guidance of IBM.

We at SGT University also believe that the policy support for improving the ability to store and share data on Agriculture is growing. Open data will mean different things to different organizations in the development sector. Some may use it as a resource, contribute to it, or both.

The idea of providing agricultural information freely is not entirely new. Data has been made available in the past by various agencies and research organizations, but the amount of data being generated now is increasing, as is our ability to share it effectively. This is leading to a growing interest in making good use of it.

There’s a global refocusing on agriculture, which is positive and necessary. Open access to data in agriculture is one of the key issues that we consider important if we wish to combat hunger and poverty.

Traditionally, we all tended to do our own work in our own regions and countries and keep our data to ourselves, which has limited us in what we can achieve as a community. The Weather Lab at SGTU aims to significantly change the way we store data and is made available to anyone. Having said that, simply making data available is one dimension of open access; the other is interoperability. This essentially means making data readable by other machines, so that datasets can be aggregated and compared.

As different types of agricultural information become inter operable, insights may follow which could improve yields, climate change resistance, nutritional quality and more.

Within the development sector, involvement in open data may mean different things to different organizations. Some may use it as a resource, contribute to it, or both. There’s also a need for advocacy to keep the momentum up and create more sources of open data.

By Rajneesh Wadhwa
Dean – Faculty of Engineering & Technology
SGT University

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