Using Spatial Digital Twin tech to track the NSW mouse plague


Wednesday, 25 August, 2021

Using Spatial Digital Twin tech to track the NSW mouse plague

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and CSIRO’s Data61 have been working with DCS Spatial Services to bring current mouse plague data into the NSW Spatial Digital Twin (SDT). Here, SDT is used to deliver spatially enabled data of environmental significance to the state, making it accessible for all citizens. Mouse numbers and locations are being reported by landholders across NSW through the MouseAlert application and website. By making this data available on the SDT, it becomes more widely visible to citizens and encourages community contribution, which will raise the profile of the application and the quality of the data.

The crowd-sourced data is user driven and, according to CSIRO, is considered an accurate indicator of the extent of mouse activity. The MouseAlert app delivers data through an application programming interface (API) feed of mouse locations and indices of activity. This data has been made publicly available and appears under live data, and the attributes also contain a URL that will take the user to the MouseAlert website for the location and information about that report.

Complementary datasets of interest for mouse plague indicators include soil moisture, crop species and wind that all provide valuable information for landholders, industry and government, supporting the efforts to manage and control plague numbers. From a scientific perspective, the data has limitations due to the nature of how contributions are made and the generalised way in which numbers are quantified.

Plans are currently underway to use sensor technology to monitor mouse plague activity in the future. This development targets activity rather than mouse numbers, which will leverage wireless technology that the agricultural industry is using to monitor localised weather conditions and soil moisture. When landholders contribute their data to MouseAlert, they are connected to a suite for resources that includes support packages from DPI as well as Grains Research and Development Corporation videos and mouse plague information.

To access data on the NSW Spatial Digital Twin, click here, navigate to the top left-hand side option (Explore Map Data), choose Live Data, then NSW Mouse Alert in the drop-down list.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/zenobillis

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