30. Geospatial Friday - Connected Cows


To many people, especially urban dwellers, the words farming and innovation are not readily associated. Crops grow the same way they always have and cows, an animal which hasn't changed much in appearance or personality over the years, still eats grass and still produces milk.

The reality, however, is that the farming is a highly advanced industry and one which is embracing new technologies in order to improve efficiencies and meet ever increasing demands. Spend time with any farmer and you will see how they are always looking for ways to improve their operations. Be that using a better material on the farm fences, smarter rotation of crops or making better use of fertilisers and seeds.


For this weeks post I'd like to draw attention to a new buzz-term (to add the the growing list). 'Connected cows' essentially refers to how these noble animals are being integrated into the world of Information and Communication Technology.

You can think of  a 'connected cow' in the same way that you would think of a highly sophisticated and closely monitored facility. The cows are equipped with tags, motion sensors and microphones that monitor the cow's activities and condition.


Live data is then sent to either an on-premise or cloud based application which aggregates and analyses the information. The results are then made available to the farmer through a mobile application whereby they can access data about the cows’ heat cycles, health and other categorised information. The result is that the cow and the farmer are 'connected' to each other like never before.


The 'connected cow' system provides massive time, cost and resource saving efficiencies and IoT for agriculture represents a genuine opportunity for the geospatial world. It will be interesting to see how location-based technologies will be integrated with this industry as a visualisation, analysis and decision-making tool over the whole value chain of food production.

Since this is a new field your thoughts or experiences are welcome.