CGIAR, RTB recognized by Computerworld for innovative use of big data analytics

RTBMaps – an online mapping resource from the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) – was selected as a ComputerWorld 2014 Editors’ Choice Winner. The award will be given today at a special event in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards honorees are not only innovative in their use of big data analytics, but also show real-world results and help establish best practices for other IT practitioners in a rapidly expanding technology area,” said Adam Dennison, from IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld.

The RTBMaps atlas – a unique interactive mapping tool for understanding the geographic dimensions of roots, tubers and bananas improvement – was showcased at the Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) International Users Conference last July in San Diego, California. During the event, the professionals behind the creation of RTBMaps showed a new video presenting the functionalities of this unique collection of digital maps that provides geographic information to the RTB research and development community in an online, user-friendly software application.

“We perceived a lot of interest from the visitors for RTBMaps as our initiative promotes open data and its use by non-specialists, thanks to its easy manipulation, ” says Glenn Hyman, who leads the project from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

The tool is constantly being improved with new maps and resources. A new feature now available on the homepage is the description of the data sources used for the atlas: the ‘download’ button gives access to 32 map layers with links to published documents on the development of each map and links to directly download the data.

RTBMaps is the result of collaboration between GIS Specialists from CIAT, the International Potato Center (CIP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Bioversity International – all research centers working to improve RTB crops.

Congratulations to Glenn Hyman, Bernardo Creamer, Ernesto Giron, Elizabeth Barona and Jorge Cardona from CIAT, Henry Juarez and Reinhard Simon from CIP, Tunrayo Alabi from IITA and David Brown from Bioversity International.

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) is a broad alliance of research-for-development stakeholders and partners. Their shared purpose is to exploit the underutilized potential of root, tuber, and banana crops for improving nutrition and food security, increasing incomes and fostering greater gender equity – especially amongst the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. Four members of the CGIAR Consortium (Bioversity International, CIAT, CIP and IITA) initiated the collaboration in 2012 while CIRAD and other French partners (IRD, INRA and Vitropic) were confirmed as global partners in 2013. www.rtb.cgiar.org