Developing a (rain) forest monitoring service based on open satellite data and crowdsourcing in combination with serious gaming

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was a global initiative with the aim to encourage countries to reduce CO2 emissions and stimulates forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Forest monitoring is crucial for REDD+ to detect illegal logging and observe forest quality. However, monitoring the forest from the ground is time consuming and it is often difficult to cover larger areas, especially in places where there is a shortage of infrastructure and data. Organisations struggle with monitoring their REDD+ projects and often lack key information about the area of interest which is needed to implement the project successfully. We help those organizations with monitoring and increasing the effectiveness of their projects. Next to REDD+ projects, our technology can also be used for related purposes, such as the detection of (illegal) mining activities and crop monitoring. All organisations that are active in the field of forest monitoring and/or REDD+ can benefit from these services, both public and private. Some organisations have their own remote sensing capability, whereas other organisations have not used satellite imagery before. The REDD+ services are customisable, and the approach is adapted to the specific needs of the customer. BlackShore has developed an award winning technology to transform satellite imagery into maps through the use of crowdsourcing methods with the goal to benefit society and science. The technology has the capability to generate maps faster and more thorough than experts. The crowd is provided with mandatory educational (e-learning) and motivational gaming elements. This technology is also used for the forest monitoring services. Near-real time and historical satellite imagery is acquired that provides the basis for the maps. The images are analysed by the crowd, which consists of thousands of enthusiastic volunteers. The only thing they need to start mapping is an internet connection. The gaming elements ensure that the mapping process is not only useful but also fun for the crowd! The combination of open satellite imagery, crowdsourcing and serious gaming provides high quality and cost effective results which offers a valuable contribution to the realization of REDD+.

Land Management
Cerberus: Forest Falcon - Crowdsourcing as a Service using open satellite data
Feasibility Study
Fausto Vieira