A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art

Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.

A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art
Image: OneSoil
  • Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
  • The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
  • The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.

Where farming meets art

Circular crop farming near Sublette, in southwestern Kansas.

Image: OneSoil

This is where precision farming meets abstract art. OneSoil, an agritech start-up from Belarus, has just launched an interactive digital map of crop data for more than 57 million fields across the U.S. and Europe.

The map provides detailed information on various crop types in 43 countries collected over the past three years, allowing users to see how fields have changed from 2016 to 2018.

The OneSoil map makes local and global trends in crop production available to everyone with a stake in farming. In so doing, it helps predict market performance of these crops, and aids decision-making by farmers and traders.

Random fields

Atypically square for Europe, these fields are in Flevoland, the Dutch province reclaimed from the sea.

Image: OneSoil

But the map is more than just practical. It boasts a 'Random Beautiful Fields' button that could keep you occupied for the next few hours. As the company's website says, "the map is a great interactive tool for students and researchers. And last but not least, it is simply fun."

The data for the OneSoil map comes from open-source satellite imagery released by ESA, the European Space Agency. By a combination of computerized visual analysis and machine-learning algorithms, OneSoil has been able to distinguish between 19 different crops with 92% accuracy. The map provides info on hectarage, crop and country crop rating.

'Precision farming'

Order meets chaos in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

Image: OneSoil

It's part of OneSoil's 'precision farming' platform, designed to help farmers monitor their fields and calculate the amount of fertilizers they need to apply. Agricultural professionals can use the free platform to share notes with their colleagues.

"The world's population is constantly growing, but the amount of agricultural land remains the same. [So] farming must be more effective than ever before", says Slava Mazai, OneSoil co-founder and CEO.

Launched in 2017, OneSoil says its aim is "to make precision farming available to everyone." The company will continue to add countries and data to its map. It projects its map will cover all arable land on the planet by 2020.

Silicon Valley (Belarus version)

Sunflowers (light blue) and wheat (red) dominate the area around Kurhanne in Crimea (de jure part of Ukraine, de facto annexed by Russia).

Image: OneSoil

So far, OneSoil has raised half a million dollars in venture capital funding, but it has yet to make money. While the company says its platform will always remain free for small- and medium-sized farms (of up to 100 fields or 10,000 hectares), it will roll out paid services for larger agro-businesses, and is exploring how to create and sell analytical reports based on the data it generates.

OneSoil is based in Belarus' version of Silicon Valley. Located just outside the capital Minsk, High-Tech Park (HTP) is a special economic zone with low taxes and less regulations, in order to stimulate the growth of an export-oriented ICT industry.

Last dictatorship

Sugarcane country (dark blue) near Belle Glade, in southern Florida.

Image: OneSoil

Over the past few years, HTP has grown rapidly to become one of Eastern Europe's major hubs for the development of artificial intelligence. Almost 400 companies reside in HTP, with a total of more than 30,000 employees.

One of Europe's more obscure countries, Belarus is wedged between Poland and Russia. It has been dubbed 'Europe's last dictatorship'; its president Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994—the longest-serving head of state in Europe, not counting kings and queens.

Mouth of the Elbe

Grass, wheat and maize (yellow) near the mouth of the Elbe river in the German state of Lower Saxony.

Image: OneSoil

For more, visit the map on the OneSoil website.

Strange Maps #947

Many thanks to all who sent in this map. Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

Global warming forecast: Cloudy with a chance of forced migration and obedience to Russia



Live on Thursday: Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

A new minimoon is headed towards Earth, and it’s not natural

Astronomers spot an object heading into Earth orbit.

Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Paitoon Pornsuksomboon/Shutterstock/Big Think
Surprising Science
  • Small objects such as asteroids get trapped for a time in Earth orbit, becoming "minimoons."
  • Minimoons are typically asteroids, but this one is something else.
  • The new minimoon may be part of an old rocket from the 1960s.
  • Keep reading Show less

    US, Russia, China won't join global initiative to offer fair access to COVID-19 vaccines. Why not?

    The U.S., China, and Russia are in a "vaccine race" that treats a global challenge like a winner-take-all game.

    Coronavirus
  • More than 150 countries have joined an initiative to develop, produce, and fairly distribute an effective COVID-19 vaccine.
  • But China, Russia, and the U.S. have declined to join in a bid to win the vaccine race.
  • The absence of these three economies risks the success of the global initiative and future collaborations.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Being in a frisky mood may improve your chances in the dating world

    Positive, romantic thoughts could produce positive, romantic outcomes while dating.

    Could the difference in successful and unsuccessful dates be all about your mood beforehand?

    Credit: 4 PM production on Shutterstock
    Sex & Relationships
    • Fear of rejection, self-doubt, and anxiety are just some of the obstacles humans need to overcome to make a meaningful, romantic connection with another person.
    • According to a 2020 project by a group of psychologists at the University of Rochester (and the Israeli-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), humans see possible romantic partners as a lot more attractive if they go into the interaction with a "sexy mindset."
    • Across three separate studies, this team discovered that this sexual activation helps people initiate relationships by inducing them to project their desires onto prospective partners.
    Keep reading Show less
    Mind & Brain

    Study reveals alarming link between binge-drinking and anxiety

    New research conducted on mice suggests repeated heavy drinking causes synaptic dysfunctions that lead to anxiety.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast