Iteris, a provider of traffic management and weather information solutions, last week released an API that gives agribusiness companies access to high-resolution weather data.
The ClearPath Ag Select API extends Iteris' existing APIs that are a part of the company's ClearPath Ag cloud platform. The newest API is designed to support precision agriculture by providing real-time field-level weather information down to a 1-by-1-kilometer resolution. This includes historical and projected surface and atmospheric weather data, such as data about precipitation, frost, wind and temperature. The data is sourced from multiple platforms, aggregated and analyzed by Iteris' staff of farmers, agronomists and data scientists.
By delivering its service via API, Iteris' data can be integrated into the applications agribusinesses have already adopted and are using. For instance, one of Iteris' partners, AgriData, provides customized online mapping solutions. According to AgriData VP Chad Ringenberg, the company will be able to "[visualize] much of this data in our system and [enable] our customers to reap the benefits of high-resolution field-level weather, from greater decision support to better planning, improved operations and savings on input costs."
Agriculture at the Forefront of Technology
While agriculture is often seen as a stodgy industry, in reality it has always been innovative and receptive to new technologies. Today, it's embracing technologies faster than ever for a very good reason: The world's population is growing rapidly, but the world's arable land is on the decline.
The most practical way to address that challenge is to use technology to improve the productivity of land, and examples of agriculture's use of new technologies abound. One of the largest target markets for drone technology, for instance, is agriculture. Farms are increasingly being outfitted with large sensor networks that can measure soil and weather conditions. A growing number of farmers use mobile apps to manage their land. And companies like Iteris aggregate and analyze data from disparate sources, such as satellite and weather stations, giving agribusinesses access to information that they need to manage their risk and make smart decisions, often on the fly under the most challenging of conditions.
Bringing all of this technology together will require that the connected devices, applications and data providers being used talk to each other. That, of course, will be done using APIs. So even if it isn't the sexiest industry, given the importance of food and the challenges the world has in producing enough of it, agriculture could very well be one of the industries the API economy helps the most.