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Urban agriculture data

Watch Akuto Konou introduce methods for acquiring data on urban agriculture.
If you want to find out how urban agriculture affects the health of people living in African cities, your first step will be to find relevant data. Some of this data you collect yourself at the source. Other data will be available for instance on platforms.
In this video, we will first explore how to classify data. Then we will access so-called secondary agricultural data on platforms that offer health data related to food security. All this information helps us find out how urban agriculture impacts the health of city dwellers.
So, let us start with the classification of data. First, we need to distinguish data according to its origin. If the researcher collects data at the source or produces it, we call the result “Primary Data”. “Secondary Data”, on the other hand, is data collected and processed by somebody else, who has then made it available. Data can be referenced by its geographic coordinates; each data entry has a spatial reference – for instance longitude/latitude, X/Y or map coordinates. This kind of digital data is called Geodata. Open-source data is data that may be downloaded for free and whose publication is not subject to any constraints. Acquiring Geodata is obviously a very important step in any research.
It is less cumbersome if the geographical area which you are interested in has data, be this open-source data or data you need to buy. If you do not find secondary data on any site you might need to collect the data yourself. But how can you do this? Let us put this into practice. If we are interested in urban agriculture at a given location, we need to get data about land that is cultivated at this location. Let us take this query to the website “”. First, type in the link You will find it below this step.
Click on “Agronomy information”. Click on “Cropland (2019)”. This gives you the most recent data at the time of recording. Use CTRL Mouse Wheel or the appropriate command on your system to zoom in or out. You may also use the + and - on the screen to achieve the same objectives. If you need references to natural visual elements, choose the base layer “SAT”. Otherwise, choose “Map”.
Adjust the opacity for optimal visualisation.
Take a screenshot of the area of interest. For example, zoom in Zambia in Eastern Africa.
If you need more specific formats of the data listed, click on “contact us”. There, you can email them to ask for more options. Those of you who know Geo Information System software and want to go further may now convert the image into a .tif – format. You then choose a projection system, resize the map to scale, vectorise it and proceed to analyses with spatial analysis tools. One Geo Information System software that is free, open-source, cross-platform and allows you to view, edit and analyse geospatial data is QGIS. You can find a link below this video. So that is how you acquire geospatial data for your research. As we have seen, it can be essential to correlate it with health data.
For health data, there are other platforms, and you can find them in the reference section of this step. We would like to invite you to check them out. Try to find out by yourselves. Go to the health platform and look up how malnutrition looks at the exact geographical point (for instance in Zambia) you looked up in on the - website. We look forward to reading your findings and comments!
If you address any part of urban planning, spatial data is essential. If you want to research how urban agriculture impacts health, you need to find the relevant data first.

In this video, Akuto Konou first introduces you to the basic concepts of primary data, secondary data, Geodata, and open-source data. Then she shows you where to get soil and agronomy information with a spatial reference.

If you want to correlate this data with, for instance, health data of the respective area, you need to get data from a platform specialised in health issues. You can find relevant links in the reference section of this step.

While we would not expect you to delve into your own extensive research, we would like to invite you to try out these platforms for your own queries.

Share what you found out in the comment section – and do not forget to mention your query. We look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences!

Finding soil and agronomy information on

Viewing, redrawing and editing geospatial data on QGIS:

Find out about the double burden of malnutrition:

Find relevant data sets on the site of the International Food Policy Research Institute:

Explore Food and agriculture data on site of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:

Explore the e-Atlas for Africa:

Search the data on water at the world resources institute:

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Examining African Contributions to Global Health

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