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Defra Science and Innovation

A digital-data future at Ordnance Survey

This 1790 OS-proto-map shows Major General William Roy's work with Greenwich and Paris Observatories to improve latitude and longitude records

On a recent visit to Ordnance Survey (OS) I learned about the diversity of geospatial data and innovation OS undertakes. OS was born in 1791 under the ambition of creating a superior map of Britain. While world-famous for their paper …

Sustainable Intensification research and Agri-Environment: win-win for sharing resources

Tree in a yellow field

The global population is rapidly expanding, increasing pressure on our finite resources and ability to produce food. In addition the food that we do have is not currently in the areas where it is needed most. We are facing a …

APHA scientists protecting our plant and animal health


Weybridge APHA laboratory was opened in 1917. For 100 years they have made significant contributions to securing a sustainable and safe food supply, improving animal health and welfare, protecting human health, crops and the environment from emerging threats and supporting international trade …

Monitoring Llangarron water quality from space

Tablet computer app offers insight to officers

Environment Agency Geomatics experts Andrew Richman and Crispin Hambidge explain how satellite and LiDAR are helping Enforcement Officers identify agricultural runoff.

Demonstration Test Catchments Open Data

Surface runoff

The recent Defra Science and Innovation Fair showcased a number of projects producing a wealth of data, much of which has been made open. The Demonstation Test Catchments project looks at monitoring controlling pollution from agricultural run-off. You can find open …

What an archive: 7 million plant specimens

Scanner and samples

Imagine losing 7 million plant specimens in a fire. Kew’s plant store (herbarium) faces this risk. The ‘server room' as it’s known, holds 250 years worth of international plant data. To lose generations of passion, love, care and meticulous attention …