Featured Collection: EarthStat

posted: Jan 6, 2020author: Cecilia Smith

What’s in this collection?

The EarthStat collection consists of 1,099 raster datasets. The data layers are global in coverage and provide information regarding agricultural crops.

What BTAA Library submitted the collection?

EarthStat is a collaboration between the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and the Land Use and Global Environment Lab at the University of British Columbia. Stanford University improved access to the data by splitting it up into layers, converting it to web services, and creating metadata for each layer. The web services and layer level downloads are available in the BTAA Geoportal. The original GeoTiffs can be downloaded at the EarthStat website.

Interesting tidbits:

  • EarthStat data was created to support researchers developing ways to feed a growing world population while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
  • The EarthStat project combines national, state, and county level census statistics with global cropland data. This differs from many global land cover datasets from satellites that lump cropland data into a few categories.
  • The data layers include the distribution of crops around the world, average crop yield, harvested area, and production. Layers with information regarding the data quality of each variable is also provided.

Many articles, maps, museum exhibits, and interactive applications have used the data from this collection. Of note, National Geographic Magazine published several articles about global food production accompanied by maps featuring EarthStat data. The Institute on the Environment has also created a series of Esri Story Maps that explore agricultural patterns, population, and potential solutions.