Neogeographers for Environmental Monitoring

by Matt Ball on April 26, 2012

There was a presentation today at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam by Eduardo Dias, with the SPIN spatial information laboratory also with Geodan, developers of tools to support crisis assessment, reconstruction and recovery. The company developed tools for Deforest Action, to incorporate satellite imagery, citizen sensors, collective intelligence and distributed computing to help keep track of ongoing changes.

The fact that a full 75% of the forest destruction is illegal, based on the UN forest reports, provides an impetus for action. Saving the orangutans has been a central part of the effort to help to save the forest as we readily relate to this endangered species.

The group now has 15 eco warriors on the ground, actively saving orangutans and putting pressure on illegal logging operations. The individuals on the ground are being directed by school children from Australia that have signed on to make ownership of land and to watch for changes in the forest.

The main goal is to empower young people with near real-time data to feel they can make a difference, to inform children of the suite of geospatial tools that are at their disposal. Crowdsourcing and human competition brings new results. It’s also about custom learning for children to learn at their own pace, to help make a difference on the pressing problem of deforestation.


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