Drones4Good Committee Member Lindsay Barbieri (U-Vermont) launches fixed-wing drone for ag-data collection.

International Data Week (IDW) will be co-located with SciDataCon, CODATA and Research Data Alliance’s (RDA) 12th Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana, November 5-8, 2018. IDW is set to be a unique gathering of data professionals from all corners of the earth. Since many have begun to use drones/RPAS/sUAS1 as serious data-collection platforms, and because Botswana is rich in wildlife and biome diversity, we have decided to host a combined drone datathon and hackathon the week before IDW at a nearby wildlife sanctuary.

#Drones4Good Update: 

For the most current details, visit this page.


Who should apply? Data and domain scientists. Academic, nonprofit and industry researchers and developers. All who are interested in accelerating science and innovation through the use of research drones for data capture.

What are they in for? A unique combined hackathon and datathon during one full week where participants will fly drones, collect data, network, learn from each other, and strengthen the international community that is involved with scientific drone data capture. Specific themes include: #EarthScience, #Conservation, #Agriculture and associated #DroneDataChallenges.


Photo by Lindsay Barbieri (U-Vermont): Atmospheric Science Drone Campaign ISARRA LAPSE-RATE in Colorado, US

RPAS offer the basic advantage of access to otherwise inaccessible and rugged terrains. But they are also capable of collecting higher spatial and/or temporal resolution data, which reduces the impact of data collection on the environment, and lowers the risk for workers and equipment. In many cases, they make data capture possible where it would otherwise be infeasible, and can drastically reduce the response time in cases where lives are in jeopardy.

These factors make RPAS a key technology worth highlighting and developing at IDW18, which bears the theme: Frontiers of Global Science.

And, there’s more! International Data Week Events

Local and international groups are collaborating to plan multiple RPAS-related sessions before, during and after IDW. Gaborone, Botswana, as a destination, is the perfect place for a convening of scientists from the developed and developing world where all can focus on common technological, environmental and other challenges that RPAS can help resolve.

If you are planning to attend IDW the following week, please note the drone-relevant SciDataCon Sessions: Emerging tech in Agriculture, Cross disciplinary drones for good in the developing world, and the RDA sUAS data Interest Group (IG) session where a report on flying week activities will be presented. Check the IDW website for updates and program information.

Planning Committee​​

Chair: Jane Wyngaard

Lindsay Barbieri

Rodger Duffett

Elizabeth Leake

Tshiamo Motshegwa

Kagiso Sematho

Lillian Okui

Don Sullivan

Committee:  Chair: Jane Wyngaard (Notre Dame/RDA), Lindsay Barbieri (University of Vermont), Rodger Duffett (Climate System Analysis Group-CSAG, South Africa), Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek), Tshiamo Motshegwa (U-Botswana), Kagiso Sematho (DataLabs), Lillian Okui (DataLabs), and Don Sullivan (NASA Airborne Science Program).

Photo by Lindsay Barbieri (U-Vermont): Atmospheric Science Drone Campaign ISARRA LAPSE-RATE in Colorado, US



1RPAS/sUAS = Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Photo by Wei Pan on Unsplash