KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indonesian crowdsourcing application is taking advantage of the competitive spirit of its customers by developing Pokemon Go-type games to help map land throughout the sprawling island chain as well as secure forests and aboriginal individuals, organisers stated on Friday.

The Urundata application utilizes openly available satellite pictures to create video games where customers see a location as well as then address basic questions on the kind of land they see and also what it is being made use of for – vineyards, all-natural forests or shrub, for example.

At first started as a pilot job in April last year in South Sumatra and also East Kalimantan provinces – with the aid of greater than 600 students – the mobile application went nationwide in November and also is because of end in March.

“You can choose what kind place you want – it’s pretty a lot a video game due to the fact that you accumulate ratings as you are supplying responses,” said Sound Yowargana, a planner at land job RECOVER+, which launched the application.

“Individuals can take on each various other – they can alter their statuses from ‘volunteer’ to ‘warrior’ of information – and afterwards share on social media sites,” said Vienna-based Yowargana, whose organisation is backed by the German federal government and intends to recover abject land in Indonesia as well as Brazil.

Residence to the world’s third-largest tropical woodlands, Indonesia is blighted by deforestation, while land problems entailing designers as well as indigenous people prevail.

Yet modern technology is significantly ending up being an important tool to curb damage of Indonesia’s large forests, deemed crucial in the fight versus climate modification as trees save planet-warming carbon.

Late last year, 10 major palm oil business teamed up on a new radar system to keep track of forests, while Asia’s pulp and also paper titans likewise are using innovation a lot more.

The Urundata application is supported by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a U.S.-based ecological think-tank, along with Nairobi-based research study group the Globe Agroforestry Centre and also the Globe Wild Animals Fund for Nature (WWF).

Somehow it is “pretty comparable to Pokemon Go,” said Yowargana. “We try to make it enjoyable.”

“It provides a great way for finding out things and also recognizing the landscapes in a manner that is extremely various from a class or through Wikipedia web pages,” he added.


Pinning down on-the-ground details concerning land seen in satellite photos is usually done by scientists or experts and also can be labour-intensive and also expensive, a spokeswoman at WRI Indonesia claimed.

“The hope is that by crowdsourcing this, rather than having one specialist looking … we can do it in a different way that allows many individuals to take a look at a comparable quantity of information,” Yowargana claimed.

To stay clear of abuse of the application that can alter outcomes, responses from multiple individuals on the same area of land will be compared to develop an agreement, Yowargana included.

Data gathered by the Urundata app will certainly be made publicly readily available on its site.

Backers wish the website will certainly boost land reconstruction efforts by federal governments and scientists, make it possible for authorities to better secure forests as well as indigenous lands, as well as assistance business determine and also establish land in a sustainable means.

It will certainly also make even more information offered for “individuals who are needing it”, consisting of native teams, Yowargana said.

After the Urundata app completes its current mapping project, it might then be used in other efforts, such as taking a look at the impact of facilities or various other land use modifications.

Reporting by Michael Taylor @MickSTaylor; Editing And Enhancing by Laurie Goering. Please credit score the Thomson Reuters Structure, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and also LGBT+ civil liberties, human trafficking, residential property rights, as well as environment adjustment. Browse through http://news.trust.org