FAO's Data Lab

The integration between statistical and geospatial data is fundamental to improving the monitoring of global development outcomes. Over the last 10 years, FAO assisted around 70 countries in producing national land cover databases and crop forecasts by using Earth Observation data.

In collaboration with the FAO Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) and the Office of the Chief Statistician (OCS), the Data Lab joined efforts to deliver innovative products that assist countries in filling potential data gaps.

  • FAOSTAT Land Cover statistics, which are fundamental to understanding local, regional, and planetary agricultural trends and are elaborated by processing data gathered from NASA MODIS Land Cover, the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative, and Copernicus Land Cover maps.
  • FAOSTAT statistics on Drained organic soils are computed geospatially and provide estimates related to the area drained for agricultural production and the associated greenhouse emissions (drainage produces a large amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere). Visualization, processing, and download are available from the following geospatial platforms: FAO Hand in Hand initiative and Google Earth Engine (for emissions and drained areas).
  • Finally, FAO is developing a new tool that links the use of satellite imagery to agriculture mapping and crop assessment, which will be capable of producing estimates on agricultural production.