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Czech Drought Monitoring system – a journey from manual work to global drought monitoring and machine learning, powered by Python

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30 minutes


This talk aims to encourage beginner developers not to underestimate the skills and benefits they can bring to various non-IT environments. I joined a team focused on drought research at the Czech Academy of Science in 2016 with a fresh degree in Geoinformatics and minimal experience with coding. Thanks to this very little initial knowledge, we were able to build a robust system providing drought monitoring and forecast for Czechia and also the whole of central Europe. We were able to fight through text files, user inputs, and geodata of all sorts and say goodbye to manual processing thanks to Python and its geospatial and data processing libraries. On the technical side, the presentation should introduce some of the handy geospatial and data processing tools to get your hands on any task, from producing colorful maps to analyzing time trends in satellite imagery. It should also be a guide on identifying needs and building the most necessary data manipulation processes from scratch.

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The speaker

Monika Bláhová

I am Monika Bláhová, currently based at Global Change Research Institute, CAS in Brno, Czech Republic as a GIS data analyst and first-year Ph.D. student. My background is cartography and geoinformatics, and my first experience with coding is from 2013 with JavaScript. Since then, I have walked a long way through learning Python, lecturing PyLadies courses, working as an IT administrator, and finally landing in a big scientific team focusing on climate change’s impact on the agroecosystems at the Czech Academy of Science.

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