The Soil Data Hackathon

What Is the soil data Hackathon?

By early August 2022, the Purdue Open Agriculture Technology Systems (OATS) Center will take the data results from the Soil Sampling Campaign to create a publicly available data set that will serve as the data foundation for the Soil Data Hackathon.

The Soil Data Hackathon is designed to make tangible progress toward fixing the soil health tech stack now by having participating developers create open source code to help with the transfer and presentation of soil-related data in a common medium through a hackathon-style virtual event over a two-day period. 

The Fixing the Soil Health Tech Stack Conference and Soil Data Hackathon will run in parallel over August 23 and August 24.

How Will the Hackathon Work?

The Hackathon is a separate event, running parallel with the Fixing the Soil Health Tech Stack Conference. The two are interrelated, and there will be times during the conference for giving updates on what's happening during the Hackathon.

When registering for the events, indicate if you wish to participate in the Hackathon as either an "Active Participant" or an "Observer.

Select "Active Participant" if you are a programmer and want to participate by writing or reviewing code.

Select "Observer" if you want to listen and contribute to the programmers' conversations.

The Hackathon will take place virtually and participants and observers will have the option to use Remo as a virtual communication platform.

Additional FAQs and instructions for programmers will be added to this site as the event approaches.

What Makes This Hackathon Unique?

  • The prize is in the problem-solving. You'll learn new things, have fun with new people, and build your reputation as a great developer. 
  • What's done here could change all of ag. It's a critical piece of a larger effort to create a blueprint for improving data interoperability affecting all sectors of agriculture. 

Where Does the Hackathon Fit in with the Project?

The overall event is comprised of three, interwoven activities:

The event kicks off in summer 2022 with our soil sampling campaign.

Data collected during the sampling campaign will then be used as part of the Hackathon.


Fundamental Tasks for Interoperability

"Interoperability" means working together, and there are three keys to this harmonization for soil. 

1. Form: Standardizing data formats and data exchange protocols (APIs) for soil samples and sensor data,

2. Backfill: Enable those with existing soil lab samples to get them into the standardized forms to prime the ecosystem,

3. Function: Develop useful tools for data in the standardization form and integrate with supportive partner software to both produce and accept soil lab and soil sensor data in the standard forms. 

How Do We Accomplish These Fundamental Tasks?

1. Form: The Hackathon will focus on utilizing the Ag Gateway-maintained MODUS standard format for soil lab sample data and associated standard API for interacting with that format using the OATS Center-maintained OADA (Open Ag Data Alliance) framework.

2. Backfill: Participating soil labs and anyone with existing soil lab test results can provide their existing formats (spreadsheets, PDFs, etc.) and Hackathon participants will work with each lab to produce drag-and drop converters into MODUS.

3. Function: Hackathon participants will work to produce a viewer to enable anyone with a MODUS-formatted file to view it in a user-friendly way while also working with supportive partners to integrate the format into their existing software.