Rothamsted Research, a UK based research institution and one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, is working to make the results and data from their experiments universally accessible. This open data, collected as often as every 15 minutes, includes information on water run-off levels, soil moisture, meteorological data and soil nutrients and is expected to run for decades.
Rothamsted Research collaborates with Tessella, a data consultancy, to ensure that the collection and distribution of the data is done responsibly. The data is scrutinized by a team of experts, and a complex data management system makes sure the data is efficiently shared and uploaded on a web platform for the public to access. Andrew Bowen from Tessella explained to BBC, "The back-end database was relatively complex just in terms of collecting, managing and organizing the data. This presented another challenge in terms of how we presented this in an attractive, acceptable and accessible way [to end-users]."
The Electronic Rothamsted Archive (e-RA) is a continuation of the Godan Initiative, of which Rothamsted Archive is a part. The initiative aims to make agricultural data available to the global scientific community in order to support agricultural innovation. Rothamsted, which houses some of the oldest and most comprehensive agricultural data, is an important partner in furthering this goal.