Location Intelligence for Agriculture

  • Follow-Up Training in Laikipia Demonstrates County-Wide Data Management Improvements

    by Tarah Speck | Jan 20, 2015

    In early December 2014, aWhere Data Analyst, Hannah Reed, conducted a follow up training in Kenya for stakeholders involved with the SNV Home-Grown School Feeding Programme(HGSF).  This was a follow-up trip from her previous training in late September 2014, which focused on data collection and management best practices in preparation for a large round of surveys tracking programme success in participating schools within the district.  


    Pictured above is the SNV team working on Home Grown School Feeding in Laikipia County.  From left to right, Francis Oyiera, Manga Njai, Hannah Reed (aWhere), Leah Njeri, David Makongo, and Rhiannan Price (aWhere)

    After Hannah’s first training, school district officers successfully distributed surveys among Laikipia County schools, and received a 100% response rate. This ensured a strong foundation for further reporting and analysis, providing a great lead up for Hannah’s follow-up visit with programme stakeholders in December. This December training included eight ICT officers from Laikipia County, four ministry of education representatives, and two SNV representatives.

    Day One:

    Hannah focused the first half of the training on capacity building around data cleaning from the survey data, such as identifying outliers, verifying information, and null versus zero. Trainees learned data cleaning techniques through hands-on exercises, and data quality was emphasized throughout all segments of the training.

    Hannah demonstrating data cleaning in the aWhere platform. A school feeding officer making a phone call to verify a questionable data point exposed in the cleaning process.

    The need for data quality was further supported by Laikipia County’s Chief Economist for Education, Isaac Kamande, OGW, who wrote a formal MOU underscoring the importance of data accuracy so the public can trust that results of this research are true and can be trusted for future decision making. 

    Day Two:

    The second half of Hannah’s training focused on loading data into the aWhere data management platform. From here, trainees learned how to analyze their data, generate reports, and identify trends for future decision making for the school feeding programme and beyond.


    Trainee, Faith Wambui (ICT Officer at Laikipia County Government) learning how to load data into the aWhere platform.

    Next Steps:

    The project is a powerful example of the benefits of multi-stakeholder collaboration, as the County of Laikipia, Ministry of Education, SNV, and aWhere work together to see success and sustainability well beyond the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. The County seeks to continue in its data collection and management practices to increase public visibility and planning for resource and funding distribution to district schools. Some of the key indicators the county will be able to track include:

    • Student-toilet ratio
    • Student-teacher ratio
    • Planned feeding days per actual
    • Price variation among schools for commodities within the HGSF
    • Attendance and performance in HGSF schools vs. non HGSF schools

    Once the complete dataset is loaded and cleaned in the aWhere platform, the Laikipia team plans to take 100% ownership of future data collection, management and analysis. In March 2015, the team will present programme results to the county board of education. The team plans to continually update their database with new survey results every term, and will make all of the information publically accessible on the Laikipia County website. If successful, the Ministry of Education plans to scale out the programme across all counties in Kenya.


    Trainees and Hannah Reed, Data Analyst at aWhere, Inc.


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  • aWhere and SNV: Fall Follow-Up Training in DC

    by Tarah Speck | Dec 09, 2014

    As a follow up to the Nairobi trainings for the SNV Home-Grown School Feeding Program, Client Engagement Manager, Rhiannan Price, and Senior Product Manager, Lauri Harrison, traveled to Washington, DC for a two day follow-up training in late November.

    While the Nairobi trainings focused on collection and entry of monitoring data by in-country staff, the DC visit focused on training for US-based staff who oversee indicator management and reporting.

    Here are some quick highlights from their trip.

    Rhiannan Price (center) and the SNV USA team. Rhiannan led a two day follow up training for the Home-Grown School Feeding Program.

     Day One

    Day one focused on ongoing training in best practice use of the aWhere platform and trouble-shooting questions for SNV staff responsible for indicator management and program monitoring and evaluation.


    (Left) Rhiannan helps SNV staff achieve better proficiency and best practice use of the global development platform. (Right) Rhiannan giving a presentation on data quality and data management best practices.


    Day 2

    Day two focused on helping SNV identify key indicators for monitoring and tracking the success of the Home Grown School Feeding project. Rhiannan and Lauri also discussed future planning for new updates that will be made to the platform in 2015, and received feedback from SNV about what would be most helpful for their program staff.


    (Left) A whiteboard brainstorm to help SNV identify program indicators. (Right) SNV and Rhiannan (top left) discuss future needs of SNV as aWhere further expands platform features in 2015.


    The SNV Home Grown School Feeding Program connects smallholder farmers to structure demand markets (in this case, to local schools in Kenya) as a more sustainable income source. The image below is taken directly from the aWhere platform. It demonstrates the preliminary results from SNV’s monitoring data in Kenya and the number of student beneficiaries in the program by school.


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  • Where in the World is aWhere?

    by Tarah Speck | Dec 02, 2014


    Where in the World is aWhere?

    New Partners, Problem Solvers, and Other Fall Happenings

    This fall has been a season of hustle and bustle for aWhere, with staff traveling from Canada to Korea to Kenya, Indonesia, and Malaysia for the purpose of meeting with partners old and new, and help equip their farmers with the right data to produce more food for our growing population.

    Here are some highlights from our fall activities.  

     Ag Innovation Showcase, St. Louis, MO USA

    This September, aWhere was invited to present at the Ag Innovation Showcase in St. Louis MO, USA. Our CEO, John Corbett, presented a 10-minute pitch on why aWhere’s agricultural intelligence is so critical to the success of farmers and agricultural value chains worldwide, from sophisticated commercial farming operations to rural small holder cooperatives. Farm Industry News described the Showcase as, “Shark Tank for agricultural entrepreneurs.”


    John Corbett (right), CEO and Stewart Collis (left), CTO, discussing aWhere products with Showcase attendees.

    Photo credit: Farm Industry News, September 30, 2014.


    World’s Greatest Problem Solvers, Boulder, CO USA

    In early November, John Corbett had the honor of representing aWhere and presenting at the 2014 World’s Greatest Problem Solver’s Conference in Boulder, CO. The conference brought together some of the world’s great thinkers to overcome many of our greatest challenges. This year focused on taking a deeper look at the IoT and its effect on global issues like cyber security, energy, water, and agriculture. John was asked to present on the topic of Threats to Food Security, specifically addressing the problem of access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food being on the decline in too many global markets. Also addressing this problem was Gary Atkinson of ARM and Chris Hansen of IHS.


     BBC World News Lead Anchor, Katty Kay, facilitates conversation with international guests and founders of JumpStart Academy.


    International Conference on Gamos Alliance, Jeju, Korea

    In late November, aWhere Data Analyst, Courtney Cohen, represented aWhere and the Rocky Mountain Consortium for Global Development in Jeju, Korea, at the International Conference on Weather/Climate Modeling and Remote Sensing Applications for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. The goal of the conference was to bring experts in weather and climate modeling, remote sensing, agro meteorology, agriculture and IT to explore how to use these technologies for agricultural applications. The conference aimed to establish a possible GAMOS alliance for sustainable agriculture and food security solutions.



    Agri Innovation Forum, Winnepeg, Canada

    November 18-19, aWhere’s Senior VP of Product Strategy, Jim Pollock, presented at the Agri Innovation Forum in Winnepeg, Canada.  Jim presented on agricultural intelligence and how aWhere generates and delivers Smart Content to business customers who can then package that data into actionable field-level insight directly to their farmers.


    The Agri Innovation Forum was held at the historic Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg.

    The Agri Innovation Forum is dedicated to showcasing the highest potential emerging, growth stage, and established agri-businesses in North America. Agricultural entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to collaborate directly with corporate leaders and investors throughout North America.


    Presentation by Dave Smardon, CEO of Amity Tech, presents a Fascinating timeline of US wheat productivity.

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  • When Agriculture Meets Education: SNV and the Home-Grown School Feeding Program

    by Tarah Speck | Nov 18, 2014

    In the heart of Central Kenya, smallholder farmers in Laikipia County are keeping thousands of children fed through the SNV Home-Grown School Feeding Program. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, local smallholder farmers sell their produce to schools as a major source of income, while ensuring that local children are provided at least one healthy meal a day.

    The project requires multiple stakeholder collaboration, including SNV program staff, the Ministry of Education, participating schools, smallholder cooperatives and production companies. One of the four main objectives of this program includes ensuring effective monitoring, documentation, and reporting to scale up best practices and determine likelihood of replication.  

    To support this objective, SNV invited aWhere Data Analyst, Hannah Reed, to conduct a training on data management capacity building and aWhere platform use to build an online data management system for Laikipia County schools.

    Hannah conducted a three-day workshop, September 29th through October 1st for over 40 teachers and education officers in Nanyuki, Kenya.

    During the first two days, training focused primarily on data management best practices, data collection, and providing technical assistance to develop a final questionnaire for use in measuring outcomes for the SNV program. Upon completion of the training, approximately 70% of attendees reported they felt “very confident” in using the data collection tool.

    Day 2 with data management team from Ministry of Ed., SNV staff and HGSF Officers. Workshop led by aWhere Data Analyst, Hannah Reed. (far right)

    On day three, the workshop focused on data management best practices and use of the aWhere Platform for data analysis. Participants learned how to enter paper questionnaire data into Excel and how to load and analyze overall program data in the aWhere Platform to visualize progress on objectives and determine best practices within their program. Over 95% of participants reported that the lessons on data management best practices were “very helpful.”

    Hannah continues to work closely with the SNV team to finalize the questionnaire and ensure it aligns with stakeholder questions and desired program outcomes. The completed Excel templates will be sent to aWhere Professional Services for cleaning and validation before being loaded into the aWhere Platform.

    SNV’s Home-Grown School Feeding Program is a 5-year program that operates in three countries: Kenya, Mali, and Ghana. By the end of the project it is expected that a total of 26,000 smallholder farmers will be contributing to the school feeding program - of which 30% are women farmers.

    This is just another example of how innovation and partnership are helping farmers feed the world!


    The data collection team of teachers from the first two days of training in front of one of a participating schools.

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  • aWhere Becomes Colorado’s 50th Certified B-Corporation

    by Tarah Speck | Oct 28, 2014

    On October 22, aWhere officially became the 50th Certified B Corporation in Colorado, and joined a growing global community of over 1,000 other companies meeting higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Certified B Corps are important because they inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best FOR the world. See our official profile here.

    So, what does becoming a B Corp really mean about aWhere and the products we offer?  

    It means that we commit to…

    B a Force for Good.

    Certified B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  More specifically, aWhere is revolutionizing the agriculture industry worldwide by helping farmers feed the world through agricultural intelligence and data management technology. We believe that our product can and will impact the world for good, and that the for-profit community has the resources to make that change happen.

    B Good for Staff.

    aWhere wants to attract talented workers that are passionate, invested in our mission and product, and want to bring their whole selves to work every day. To achieve this, we offer competitive, fair salaries and stock options, a robust benefits package, and encourage and subsidize professional development.

    B Good for the Community.

    aWhere is a global company, but we care about the local communities where we do business. This means that we are committed to civic engagement and giving, leverage local suppliers and distributors, and highly value diversity and job creation within the cities we work.

    B Good for the Environment.

    aWhere maintains a do no harm attitude about its environmental responsibility as we seek to minimize our environmental footprint. As a staff, we use recycled equipment & furniture and incorporate remote meetings to limit transportation. We responsibly dispose of hazardous waste, and incorporate energy efficiency standards into our lighting, equipment and HVAC. 


    “Since the inception of aWhere, we have nurtured a culture of excellence and integrity and we aim to deliver products of great value and social impact to our customers,” said John Corbett, President and CEO of aWhere. “We are proud to join the B Corp community of like-minded companies who strive toward those same goals.

    We are excited to be a part of this growing community of B Corporations, including businesses like PatagoniaBen & Jerry’s, and

    Want to learn even more about the Certified B Corp community or consider joining the #Bthechange movement? Watch this video below:

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  • Climate Change, Ebola, and a Growing Food Crisis: Does Big Data Have a Place at the Table?

    by Tarah Speck | Oct 22, 2014

    The spread of the Ebola virus throughout West Africa has devastated thousands, and has become a global public health crisis as it threatens to spread beyond the region. Public health workers scramble to contain the virus while treating an increasing number of victims, but another threat looms as a result of this pandemic: food security. Food access already hangs in tenuous balance from a technology and information gap, and the virus threatens to plunge the region into a major food crisis.

    Ebola has torn through Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, hitting hard the “bread basket” regions, directly impacting critical agricultural activity in the region. It has already vastly disrupted food commerce as farmers and their families fall victim to the virus, leaving fields abandoned and crops un-harvested, contributing to food shortages, Reuters reports.

    "Hunger will kill us where Ebola failed," Pa Sorie, a 61-year-old rice and cassava farmer in northern Sierra Leone, told Reuters.

    For Sierra Leone, 40 percent of the economy is agriculture-based, and government officials in Sierra Leone and Liberia acknowledge Ebola as a threat to food security and the need to act quickly.  

    What may be most alarming, however, is that this outbreak and subsequent food crisis may be directly related to climate change issues in the area, according to a 2013 report by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    As a result of climate change and deforestation in the region, fruit bats infected with the virus have shifted their migration patterns to more populated areas, causing rapid spread of the virus across the region.

    Likewise, climate change further impacts staple crops like rice through seasonal droughts, strong winds, thunderstorms, landslides, heat waves, floods, and changing rainfall patterns, making crop production extremely vulnerable.

    But can big data play a role in diverting the catastrophic effects of climate change on global food security and the spread of infectious disease like Ebola?

    At the The Makerere University Climate Change Research and Innovations Centre (MUCCRI), students are addressing just that.

    In partnership with USAID and FHI360, MUCCRI focuses on building a hub of academic, professional development, and research excellence in climate science, climate adaptation and related disciplines. This initiative aims to build capacity to address critical issues of climate change as it relates to agriculture through research, policy development and implementation.

    Students are conducting original research to create and share complex datasets, building a comprehensive database from which other agricultural researchers, agronomists, and other stakeholders both domestic and international, can draw conclusions. Maintaining high data quality and data management standards will be critical to the project as data policies and implementation practices are developed as a direct result of this research.

    In September 2014, FHI360 invited aWhere Data Analyst, Courtney Cohen, to conduct a training for 30 MUCCRI students and other project stakeholders about best practices for data management and analysis techniques. Courtney discussed how the students could increase their data management capacity and maintain high data quality while conducting their climate change research. 

    100% of the participants reported that the data management training was relevant to their projects. Following the training, Courtney followed up with one on one discussions with participants to continue helping them build their capacity for data management.

    We are anxious to see the results of this important research to increase our knowledge and ability to proactively address climate change as it relates to agriculture, animal patterns, and the spread of other infectious diseases like Ebola in the future.

    Where have you seen big data have impact on global issues? Do you think big data or technology has a place in food security efforts or climate change initiatives? Comment below or to learn more, please contact us today.

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  • aWhere Leads Platform Training in Uganda for FHI360 and Participants of the Uganda Education and Research to Improve Climate Change Adaption Project

    by Courtney Cohen | Oct 14, 2014

    Last week, aWhere Data Analyst, Courtney Cohen, traveled to Kampala, Uganda to work with students involved with the Makerere University Center for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI) and other project participants. Courtney led a training on the aWhere M&E (Monitoring & Evaluation) Platform and discussed how the students could increase their data management capacities and maintain high data quality while conducting climate change research.

    The Uganda Education and Research to Improve Climate Change Adaptation is a four year USAID activity implemented by FHI360. It is designed to help establish MUCCRI as a recognized national and regional hub of academic, professional development and research excellence in climate science, research, climate adaptation and related disciplines.

    The two, full-day trainings were well attended, with nearly 30 students and project participants receiving training. Each day, trainees reviewed data management practices necessary to maintain high data quality, and learned the critical importance of data quality.

    Students engage with the M&E Platform to learn how to maintain high quality data for climate change research.

    Courtney also provided a general overview of aWhere and the M&E Platform. She also trained participants in the three modules – the data library, the data analysis module and the weather module. She also demonstrated the critical functions and features inherent to the platform that help maintain high data quality. Trainees received an in-depth training on how to perform functions such mobile data collection, importing their own data spreadsheets, sharing data, and exporting weather data.

    Since the participating students are in the earliest phases of their climate change research, they were excited and eager to learn more about how aWhere’s M&E tools can make their project data easier to track, analyze and share results. After the training, Courtney met with students both in person and remotely to discuss study design, data management practices and database structure to ensure their project research is optimized for best results when using our M&E Platform.

    Courtney Cohen, Data Analyst at aWhere, leads training on the M&E Platform.

    Courtney and the aWhere Professional Services team will work closely with each student as their projects evolve, and will provide assistance throughout their studies. We are excited be a part of this climate change research and look forward to a continued partnership with FHI360 and MUCCRI.

    Want to learn how your organization or company can improve its M&E and data management practices through the M&E Platform? Contact our team today at:

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  • 5 Ways Big Data Can Help End The Global Food Crisis For Good

    by Tarah Speck | Sep 25, 2014


    What IS big data? There are so many nuances to the term based on who and what company you ask, but we think this definition from Forbes is a good one: Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.

    Big data has actually been around for decades (and was simply called “data”), but in recent years the term has become a hot buzzword in techie communities. Big data is everywhere, from financial institutions monitoring market trends, to media & entertainment tracking viewer/fan retention. Even the healthcare industry can now prove  a drug’s ability to improve patient health through big data.

    But how far can big data go to solve even BIGGER world problems like global food security?

    Weather variability, policies, and lack of access to resources are all factors contributing to the global food crisis. But at aWhere, we think that big data can and will solve global food insecurity.

    Here are 5 reasons why:

    1. Comprehensive 3rd party Weather Data = More Accurate Navigation of Weather Variability

    2. Weather drives ag, ag drives economies. aWhere integrates weather data from thousands of ground stations and orbiting satellites around the globe. Thanks to publically available weather sources like NCAR, AWIS, and others, we offer the most comprehensive and accurate global weather system to date. For a free trial, click here.

    3. Scale Up or Drill Down = Scalable Data is Better Data

    4. Let’s take the example of palm oil this year. A serious drought was predicted earlier this year in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top two producers of palm oil fruit. This caused the market to prepare for a lower supply and increased prices for consumers. Unfortunately for companies investing in this crop, the drought did not come, and a surplus of palm oil fruit flooded the market, negatively impacting the entire value chain from consumer pricing and demand, to commercial revenue, to the income of the farmer.

      This is where big data makes its power play. By pooling data from dozens of reliable sources, historical, current, and forecast weather data is more accurate with less surprises than ever before. Big data lets commercial companies scale up to immediately take a global or regional view for larger value chain decisions. Just as easily, a farmers’ cooperative can drill down into the data to make immediate field-level decisions as local as 9 sq. kilometers. Scale up or drill down, this is a game-changer in the effort toward sustainable agriculture and global food security.

    5. More Comprehensive Localized Weather = More Accurate Ag Decisions

    6.  Let’s take a closer look at how localized, field-level decisions can be made from big data.  Suppose we have a small holder cassava farmer in West Africa. Although he is illiterate, he is knowledgeable and open to new technology that will help produce better yields. An intermediary company with direct access to this farmer uses our platform to receive field-specific data that is immediate and actionable. Our information feed can tell them when to comb a field for a particular pest threat or when to look for a specific crop disease relative to the weather conditions of this season.

      This same intermediary company takes this customized, field-level information and sends alerts directly to the farmer through a mobile app that uses icons to communicate with the illiterate farmer. This puts the farmer in control of his field with data that is immediate, accurate, and relevant to him.

    7. Global data sets from third parties = Valuable Insights Alongside Your Own Data

    8. Want to see what environmental, varietal, or socioeconomic factors impacted cassava yields in Nigeria from 2005-present to make more evidence-based future decisions for cassava producers throughout Africa? Big data can do that for you.  

      We pull public data from third party sources like the World Bank, FAO, and Harvest Choice and house it in an easy to use library to draw larger insights alongside your own data. This robust resource allows you to make larger global, regional or national decisions in the future, improving your bottom line or project objectives, while better feeding our world.   

    9. One Platform Houses It All = Easier Decision-Making at Your Fingertips

    10. In a single platform, view big data for weather, agricultural insights and global information right in front of you. For example, with a few clicks of a mouse, you can see the comprehensive impact of weather variability, public health efforts, and farmer trainings on overall rice production in the Philippines. Big data really gets that specific, all in one convenient place.

      And let’s not forget, all of this big data is stored in the cloud, so your information assets will never disappear from a missing flash drive or sudden staff changes. It is your data, forever.


    Want to learn more about what big data can do for you and your organization or company? Contact to learn more or request a demo.

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  • The Ups and Downs of Palm Oil: Brief Take on A BIG Data Solution

    by Tarah Speck | Sep 25, 2014

    Palm oil is everywhere. From lipstick to biscuits to biodiesel fuel, palm oil is a product in growing demand, particularly in developed economies.

    A recent report in the Wall Street Journal announced aWhere’s expansion into the palm oil market in SE Asia.  Together, Indonesia and Malaysia account for approximately 85 percent of all of the palm oil produced around the world, and 4.5 million people earn a living from this cash crop. The governments of both countries have set aggressive targets for the use of palm oil in growing domestic biodiesel applications.


    Palm oil fruit transported from a plantation. aWhere seeks to bring big data to palm oil companies to better navigate weather variability to produce stronger yields in the future.


    When Palm Oil Takes a Hit, Farmers Feel it Most 

    Despite ambitious expansion plans, the WSJ suggests that these targets are not being met, resulting in palm oil prices dropping by 18 percent from March to July.

    Earlier this year, overly pessimistic forecasts of a drought predicted a massive cut to palm oil yields in Indonesia and Malaysia. The drought did not materialize as expected, driving prices even lower as a more abundant supply entered the market than the demand required.  

    Guess who takes the biggest hit?


    Like we always say at aWhere, “weather drives ag; ag drives economies,” and this is a perfect example of the critical importance of accurate, localized weather data in conjunction with actionable, field level insight provided directly to the farmer.

    Despite palm oil’s slump this year, the two governments expect to forge ahead to expand production of palm oil in the long-term, and the future of palm oil is promising. As our company and product line expands into SE Asia, we ask the question, “How can our weather data and SmartContent equip the palm oil market, from high level decision-makers down to the farmer with the right meaningful information to make the most accurate, field-level decisions?”

    Big Data in Agriculture: A New Competitive Edge

    aWhere provides data solutions at the high commercial level all the way down to the hands of a farmer. Let’s break this down even more.

    For decision makers of commercial growers and farmer intermediaries, aWhere products allow you to:

    • Navigate weather variability by accessing 30 years of historical weather data, daily weather and forecast data down to the field level.
    • Analyze the palm oil industry at the local, regional and global level to make smarter investments and business decisions along the value chain.
    • Make corporate-level decisions by leveraging aggregated data related to your market from our robust Data Library.
    • Send field level data directly to farmers from pest and disease alerts to market and pricing strategies, to input/output recommendations.

    To learn how aWhere can help you make the most evidence-based, field level decisions for your company, contact us at


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  • aWhere Combats Climate Variability for Small Holder Farmers, Expands to Southeast Asia

    by Tarah Speck | Sep 11, 2014

    If you were to step through the offices of aWhere, you would likely hear this phrase at least once:

    “Ag drives economies, and weather drives ag.”

    We know it’s a rather simplistic view, but we wholeheartedly believe it is true.   

    Climate and weather variability impacts every aspect of life on this planet, most profoundly, food production. Heat waves, drought, torrential rains and powerful storms all create potential threats for farmers: decreased yields, crop disease, pests, and a host of other issues.

    Over a billion people go hungry every day from global food shortage, and by 2050, we will need to find a way to feed a population of approximately 9 billion. Climate variability and growing climate change concerns leave us facing unparalleled food security challenges in the coming decades.

    But at aWhere, we believe that access to the right data & analytics technology can transform food security initiatives and agribusiness practices worldwide to feed our growing population.  

    Through our Platform, the following information can be just as easily accessed by a small holder farmer in a remote, low tech village of a developing country as a large commercial grower:

    • Real time weather forecasts updated daily to drive every day field-level decisions
    • Actionable insight for pest and disease alerts related to weather variability in their specific fields
    • Alerts for optimal seeding and harvest dates based on rainfall, drought, and other weather-related indicators at the hyper-local level
    • Recommendations on crop variety, fertilizer, and other inputs to mitigate risk and ensure highest possible yields

    Outside of North America and parts of Western Europe, the application of big data analytics to agriculture like this is virtually non-existent. aWhere knows that much of the world’s food sources are grown outside of these two regions, and seeks to make this technology accessible to underserved markets worldwide. We recently announced the opening of a new aWhere office in Malaysia so that we can expand our operations and target rice and palm oil markets in Southeast Asia.

    Our SmartContent Platform is user friendly, and integrates seamlessly into any existing program or budget management tools you already use.

    Contact to learn how SmartContent can transform your agribusiness or food security initiatives today.  

  • aWhere Team Travels to Senegal to Lead Workshops on the aWhere Platform

    by User Not Found | Jan 20, 2014

    Last week, aWhere’s CTO, Stewart Collis, and Director of Customer Resource Center, Randy Jeske, traveled to Senegal to run a workshop educating students on incorporating the aWhere Platform into project proposals. This is part of Colorado State University's Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research for Adapting Livestock Systems to Climate Change. This particular workshop was in Thies (pronounced “Chez”), Senegal - which is an hour east of Dakar.

    The trip got off to a rocky start with flight cancellations and re-bookings due to the “Polar Vortex”, however the team was able to adjust the workshop a couple of days. aWhere trained approximately 15 people consisting of students, PhD’s and researchers. The project is designed to fund these students to develop proposals related to climate change risk and variability mitigation for livestock.

    The aWhere Platform is a perfect fit for their needs and these teams absolutely need both weather analyses capabilities and data management tools to manage their project data. Stewart provided a general overview of company goals and platform, while Randy did a training session on the Weather module. Between these sessions, they both worked with individual students and scientists to collect requirements for the project going forward.

      Randy Jeske training students on aWhere's Weather Module

    One of the students representing the group summed their experiences by saying that “their expectations for the workshop were far exceeded by aWhere’s training and tools. They are extremely happy to have learned about the aWhere platform not only for this project but for future work they will be doing in their professional careers.”

    aWhere will be returning to Africa in June to conduct another set of trainings for this project.

      Stewart Collis and Randy Jeske at the westernmost point of Africa

  • Climate Change in Central America: Why Weather Data Matters

    by User Not Found | Jan 14, 2014

    Central America, one of the world’s most vulnerable regions, is no stranger to climate change.  Small scale farmers from Mexico through Panama are facing challenges as weather patterns change and extreme weather events become more common. 

    A joint report released by Catholic Relief Services, CIAT, and CIMMYT in October 2012, entitled ‘Tortillas on the Roaster,’ discusses the climate realities facing Central American Maize and Bean farmers.  The report findings suggest a 1°-2° C rise by 2050, resulting in water shortages, land degradation and increased crop losses. 

    These realities demand action- this was a major driving force behind aWhere’s recent expansion of the Platform to provide free access to gridded weather data in Mexico and Central America.  Accessible and locally relevant weather information, limited in this region by a lack of meteorological stations, provides insight into weather patterns and allows farmers to make informed decisions.

    aWhere’s gridded weather data are available at a 5 arc-minute resolution (approximately 9x9 km grid cell).  These ‘synthetic’ weather stations offer visibility into localized weather content.

    Sign up today to access the Platform.

    The image below shows aWhere's free (public) access weather regions, and those available on a subscription basis.


  • A Year in Review: Confronting Climate Change and Innovations for Agriculture

    by User Not Found | Dec 23, 2013

    2013 was a big year for agriculture.  Global discussions have shifted due to the realities of climate change, which are already impacting small scale farmers throughout the world. Innovative solutions to drive agricultural intensification and to support small scale farmers in their efforts to keep up with a growing population are in high demand.  The aWhere team was busy in 2013 growing the Platform’s ability to provide data management in support of agricultural development.  This year, we’ve seen significant improvements to Platform features, the creation of new climate-smart content, and exciting new partnerships.

    But perhaps the most important work has been happening behind the scenes.  The aWhere team has been working hard to hit the ground running in 2014 with the market launch of aWhere 2.0.  With a focus on creating data management and delivery systems which support small scale farmers in their ability to cope with climate change, aWhere 2.0 is a full Platform update.  The Platform features user-friendly tools to manage data, collaborate with others, and act on evidence-based decisions.  More details on aWhere 2.0 will be released in January, 2014.

    2013 Highlights

    • aWhere’s growing weather database has seen significant improvements throughout the year, including the addition of weather alerts,  the expansion of geographic coverage to include Central America and Mexico, and improvements to rainfall and forecast data.  Increased marketing has led to a diverse and growing user community of development practitioners who utilize the free, interactive web-based tool to monitor local weather for a variety of development initiatives
    • A partnership with Colorado State University has led to the integration of satellite derived precipitation data into the aWhere Platform.  These data signify a significant improvement to the aWhere Platform and have better spatial and temporal resolution than existing sources
    • Travel to key conferences and events has increased our visibility and reach and has led to exciting new opportunities to fuel global development efforts through location intelligent data management

    Below shows 2013 aWhere Platform Weather Analyses.  Analyses done in the America’s are mostly by subscription based users; Africa and South America are free community edition users.




  • Rethinking Agriculture post Warsaw

    by User Not Found | Dec 03, 2013

    At this year’s UN climate talks in Warsaw, agriculture, once again, struggled to find its voice.  While there is insurmountable evidence that global food security will be threatened by climate change, agriculture was shunted aside, while negotiators focused on what they deemed to be larger climate related issues.

    What became clear from this conference is that agriculture cannot wait to get the attention of these negotiators.   The effects of climate change, discussed theoretically in these conference centers, are already a brutal reality for millions of farmers in the developing world. The future of agriculture doesn’t lie in the decisions made in Rio, Warsaw, or Paris; the future lies with the countries whose farmers are already confronted with climate change and are working hard to adapt.  

    Bruce Campbell, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security sums this up well in his piece Serious about climate change? Talk about agriculture’.

    “More and more developing nations are moving forward and addressing the climate crisis with whatever resources they can cobble together. If climate negotiators continue to drag their heels, the rest of the world may simply leave them behind.”

    This idea seems to resonate within the agricultural community, with many people speaking out about agriculture representing a crucial missing piece in the negotiations.

    Innovation in Agriculture

    So what does all of this mean for agriculture moving forward?

    “Innovation in agriculture is crucial,” says aWhere’s COO Dave Lundberg.  Unfortunately, most of the world’s farmers (in fact, about 85% of them) lack access to agricultural technologies.  How is aWhere addressing this? “aWhere’s Platform is generating data to support the millions of small-scale farmers who do not have access to advanced technology,” says Lundberg.  aWhere is ready to share these data and support the work of organizations currently fighting the battle with climate change in the developing world.

    A recent example of aWhere’s ongoing effort to create innovative data tools to support global agricultural development and climate-smart adoption, is the addition of a new, satellite derived rainfall product into the publicly available weather platform.  These data, which are more accurate than existing sources, are now available to aWhere Platform users, but this is just the beginning.  In the next few months, aWhere will enable color rendered mapping of this precipitation data, allowing users to visualize rainfall over an entire region.  This product will bring visibility to rainfall in regions where even the most basic weather data is lacking, and is indicative in the types of innovative tools and solutions aWhere will continue to design and contribute in the future.  The image below was generated by aWhere through this new precipitation product, and shows daily precipitation for parts of Africa.

    Sign up today to become a Platform user.

  • aWhere’s New Precipitation Resource and its Importance in Agriculture

    by User Not Found | Nov 12, 2013

    Precipitation plays an important role in agriculture; this is especially true in developing countries, where rain fed agriculture is the dominant form of food production.

    For farmers who rely on rainfall, the complexities of climate change are magnified.  With limited access to weather information, farmers in the developing world often rely on seasonal knowledge and rainfall patterns to plan their season.  Climate change, which is leading to greater weather variability and more erratic weather patterns, will diminish these farmers' ability to rely on past knowledge to inform farming practices.

    aWhere is pursuing innovative ICT solutions to address the lack of access to localized, interpretable information for farmers.  Recently, the aWhere Platform, which offers open access to highly localized weather data through a web-based interface, incorporated a new global weather resource: satellite-derived precipitation data created through Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute through Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA).  This newly incorporated product has better spatial and temporal resolution than existing sources and begins to address the need for accurate precipitation data in remote regions of the world.

    While localized weather information is not a solution to the threats on agriculture and food production posed by climate change; it offers a useful tool to support the global development community’s efforts to sustain and intensify agricultural production to feed a growing world population.  For farmers who practice rain fed agriculture, this new resource will help to plan and manage growing seasons, enable in-season decision making, and provide overall visibility into rainfall patterns for a region.

    Register for the aWhere Platform to access this new resource.

  • Climate Change Variability Index Predicts Countries that will be Hardest Hit by Climate Change

    by User Not Found | Nov 04, 2013

    Last week, Maplecroft’s 2014 Climate Change Vulnerability Index was released, detailing the countries and regions facing the greatest threat from climate change.

    To create the 6th annual index, Maplecroft, a global risk analytics company, explored three factors:

    • Exposure to extreme climate-related events: countries were analyzed in terms of their capacity to deal with increases in temperatures and changes in sea levels, which may lead to events such as increased floods, and prolonged droughts
    • Vulnerability of the population: Maplecroft explored population’s dependence on agriculture, health statistics, and education to assess vulnerability to climate change
    • The ability to adapt to climate change: This analysis took into account economic factors, security of natural resources, and governance

    It is not surprising to see that the countries dominating the list are located in the developing world, with the highest concentration in Africa and South Asia.

    Of the 196 countries analyzed, Bangladesh was ranked #1, followed by Guinea- Bissau, Sierra Leone, Haiti, South Sudan, Nigeria, Congo, Cambodia, Philippines, and Ethiopia.  In these countries, populations are vulnerable to shock and the capacity to deal with increased weather variability is low.

    “It’s no coincidence that the regions with the direst projections are also the regions where aWhere is offering free access to weather data.” Says CEO Dr. John Corbett “Reports like these solidify the need for increased visibility into the near real-time data in these regions of the world.”

    Bangladesh, along with many other countries that found themselves towards the top of the index are included in aWhere’s free weather module, which offers web based, interactive access to highly localized daily weather updates, a 5 year history, and a 10 day forecast for crucial weather variables.

    Dr. Corbett reaffirms aWhere’s commitment to provide access to weather data in regions of the world that will be the hardest hit by climate change:

    “The aWhere Platform provides a tool for practitioners to visualize data and make evidence-based decisions in resource constrained regions of the developing world.  aWhere is committed to supporting global development organizations in their efforts to prepare the world for climate change.”


  • A Data Revolution in Global Agriculture?

    by User Not Found | Oct 21, 2013

    This year’s Open Access Week trails on the heels of the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue, where world leaders and global experts gathered in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss one of the greatest challenges facing our world: how to feed a growing population in the face of climate change.

    Open Access Week, historically an opportunity for academic and research institutions to promote the sharing of research, provides a platform for the global development community to continue a dialogue around the concept of Open Data.

    “Better access to research data, improved visibility into development initiatives, data sharing across organizations; these advances can help unite efforts in the fight against global hunger,” says aWhere COO Dave Lundberg, a participant at last week’s event.

    The desire for open data and improved visibility into development initiatives is gaining momentum.  In fact, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), which are positioned to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) in 2015, are calling for a ‘data revolution’.  The idea of a data revolution in global development was something that was largely undiscovered when the MDG’s were formed over thirteen years ago.  Since then, huge strides have been made in the ability to collect, analyze, and share data from all around the world.

    “Improved visibility into development initiatives and global data enables evidence based decision making, and tools providing this visibility are increasing in demand,” says Lundberg.

    Tools like the aWhere Platform can provide structure and real-time insight into to food security initiatives.  aWhere’s data management solution provides tools to analyze, visualize, and share information on agricultural projects across the globe.

    Learn more about aWhere’s Open Platform for Global Development, or sign up for the Platform today to access our growing collection of climate related data.  

  • Weather Analysis Tool Offers Strategic Insight for Land-Based Initiatives

    by User Not Found | Oct 14, 2013

    The Global Landscapes Forum, a sideline event to the UNFCCC COP19 Conference in Warsaw, Poland this November, is focused on shaping the post 2015 climate and development agenda. Read aWhere's recent contribution to the Landscape Forum's blog.

    Original post found here:

    Weather Analysis Tool Offers Strategic Insight for Land Based Initiatives

    People in the industrialized world reap the benefits of a well-connected and seamlessly functioning network of weather stations.  Instant accessibility to real-time weather information guides society’s day-to-day decision making - from what clothes to wear, how to get to and from destinations, to what crops to plant.  It’s difficult to imagine a world where a weekend weather forecast is not simply a mouse click away. 

    In many parts of the developing world, however, a severe lack of local weather information is a major setback for farmers, extension officers, and policy makers in their decision making process.  In many regions, weather networks are limited, non-functional, or non-existent. 

    Imminent changes in weather patterns are increasing the need for accurate, localized, and accessible weather information for sustainable approaches to land management and food security in the developing world.  The incorporation of weather data into project planning enhances the ability of practitioners to make evidenced-based decisions and offers strategic insight for farmers and extension workers.

    aWhere’s Weather Tool

    aWhere, Inc. is working to resolve this problem.  Our team has developed an interactive, online tool offering free access to weather information for Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa and South Asia.  aWhere’s weather data is created by interpolating weather information from meteorological stations and orbiting satellites to create quality data available on a 9km resolution grid - akin to having a meteorological station every 9km.  Weather data is available for key variables including precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and growing degree days (heat units).

    The Platform has a growing suite of tools to analyze and visualize weather data.

    -          Visualize weather data for a user-selected seasonal period

    -          Compare historical data against current trends

    -          Download all available data into excel for further analysis

    -          Receive weather reports for any location of interest, including an 8 day weather forecast

    -          Enable daily weather updates and receive alerts via email if a user-defined weather threshold is exceeded

    Visit aWhere’s Weather Details Page to register or to learn more about the Platform. 

    Contact us at to learn more about aWhere’s Open Platform for Global Development.

  • An Innovative Approach to Data Management for International Development

    by User Not Found | Sep 09, 2013

    There has been a lot of chatter about innovation following last week’s COIN summit in Denver, Colorado. The summit brought together innovative leaders and entrepreneurs throughout the state who are working towards unique solutions to national and international issues.

    aWhere’s CEO Dr. John Corbett and COO Dave Lundberg attended the summit to connect with other innovative leaders and to spread the word about aWhere’s work: the creation of a Location Intelligence Platform to help international development organizations manage their data.

    “The amount of information (data) collected by governments, international organizations, even generated through digital means, such as social media, is quickly growing; that data is often in inaccessible formats or even lost” says aWhere COO Dave Lundberg. “The aWhere Platform provides an innovative solution to leverage and harness the power of these data.”

    As the idea of open data and big data continue to gain momentum in international development, aWhere is working to perfect a platform which will seamlessly manage these data and allow for real time visualization, analysis, and data sharing across development initiatives. 

    In addition to the ability to load and analyze your own data, platform users will have access to the aWhere data library.  This library will host openly sourced datasets from a range of national governments and international development organizations, as well as provide access to aWhere’s weather module.  Data from aWhere’s data library can be integrated into analyses, encouraging collaboration and increasing visibility of development data.  

    A Data Revolution?

    aWhere is part of growing group of organizations dedicated to leveraging data for use in international development. Below are a few resources providing information on data and data accessibility:

    Global Pulse: A United Nations initiative, Global Pulse is exploring the use of digital data sources for international development -

    The World Bank: The World Bank has embraced the open data philosophy. Here you will find access to WB data sets and tools for visualization -

    AidData: Works to increase the transparency and accessibility of data collected for international development -

    Contact us to learn more about aWhere’s Platform for international development

    Go comment!
  • ICT’s Provide Critical Information for Climate-Smart Adoption

    by User Not Found | Aug 05, 2013

    Climate change is proving to be the greatest obstacle in Africa’s quest to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), and represents a profound challenge to continue feeding a growing world population.  Current projections from the UN estimate a world population surpassing 9 billion by 2050, half of the projected increase is expected to occur in 9 countries, 4 of which are in Africa: Nigeria, Ethiopia, the DRC and Tanzania.  An increase in agricultural production is the only way to continue to feed a growing world population.

    The full effects of climate change on agriculture are still uncertain, but it is clear that agriculture, which currently contributes to 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, will be one of the hardest hit sectors.  According to a recent Food Policy Report, released by IFPRI, food insecure populations in developing regions most vulnerable to climate change can expect yield declines in some of their most significant crops, rising prices in rice, wheat, maize and soybean crops and a decline in the calorie availability by 2050, resulting in a 20% increase in child malnutrition.

    In order to prevent this future from becoming a reality, adaptation and mitigation efforts in agriculture must be combined to tackle the threat posed by a changing climate.  Often referred to as the triple win, climate-smart agriculture looks to decrease the environmental impacts of farming, increase productivity and strengthen farmer’s resilience to climate change.  By minimizing the harmful effects of farming, and maximizing small-holder productivity, climate-smart agriculture has the potential to fuel agricultural production and feed a growing population.

    Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) like the aWhere platform provide crucial information instantly to players across the agricultural value chain; representing an opportunity to drive the adoption of climate-smart practices.

    aWhere’s technology is perfectly positioned to support climate-smart agricultural projects.  Through the aWhere platform, practitioners can gain contextual insight from real-time, on the ground data, allowing for evidence-based decisions and the achievement of climate-smart production.

    The ability to view and interact with localized weather data means that weather risks associated with climate change can be managed, and the addition of long-term climate scenario forecasting (coming soon) will allow for location specific risk models to be created.  Additionally, through the integration of weather and other environmental data, climate-smart recommendations can be pushed to farmers, advising on what and when to plant, providing weather forecasts and climate-smart farming tips to increase farmer productivity and decrease environmentally harmful farming practices.  

    While ICT’s themselves are not a solution to the threat posed by climate change, they represent a great opportunity to access critical information and collaborate on climate-smart models in a changing world.

    Go comment!

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