14 September 2012 - 16 September 2012
Land grabbing is the large scale acquisition or leasing of lands in developing countries for purposes such as biofuel production. We will be able, with this hackathon challenge, to determine land use and hence true land availability. Since the perceived availability of land is one of the most important factors in determining the probability of being a target country for these acquisitions, a better estimate of true land availability is needed. Ethiopia is an example of a country where this is happening.
The Solution: Geo-Wiki is a crowd-sourcing tool used to collect information with Google Earth. You will be asked to identify the presence of cultivated land and settlements in samples taken from Ethiopia, along with your confidence in doing so. These will be areas where land acquisitions may affect the local population so publishing a better map of land availability might help to stop these acquisitions in the future, preserve the livelihoods of the local population and improve local food security. We will also use data on land acquisition to find out if newly acquired land is truly idle or settled and cultivated.
Task 1 (No skills required)
You will need a laptop/computer with an internet connection and a web browser. Register on the site: http://hackathon.geo-wiki.org, install the Google Earth plug-in and do as many validations as you can over the weekend of the hackathon. Extra points are awarded for inviting friends so get as many of your friends and colleagues on board as possible.
Our goal is to validate more than 50,000 points during the weekend. All the crowdsourced data will become freely available as will any map products that result from the use of this data.
Task 2 (Skills in Communications, Engineering, Computer Science)
We need ideas for how we can spread the word about the hackathon (hackathon.geo-wiki.org) and reach a much larger crowd of interested people. On which websites can we advertise the competition? Can automatic news feeds be produced so that interested universities and NGOs interested in food security and land grabbing can be reached? Or are there other automatic ways to reach these groups? How can we ensure that the website is advertised as widely as possible while also ensuring it is not misused? What are the best channels for communication? How can you make such an application go viral? What do you think we could add to the site that would make it more attractive and get a larger crowd involved in land cover validation?
Our main websites are:
The Geo-Wiki team will be available to provide guidance and support during the hackathon via skype and through our competition geo-wiki facebook site. Some brief training materials will be provided during the weekend. http://hackathon.geo-wiki.org is now online.
Last edited: 11 September 2012
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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313