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New web tool to improve accuracy of global land cover maps
Date:2/14/2012

o log on to the site, identify where they are in the world, view the information already available via the Google map and, to the best of their ability, provide their interpretation of the land cover in the area. To participate in the competition visit: http://competition.geo-wiki.org/login.php.

Geo-Wiki brings information from multiple sources together into one platform making it easier to compare information and enabling, for the first time, validation of the land cover and other significant information by volunteers. The project aims at producing a hybrid land cover map which is more accurate than any current individual product can provide. The rationale and technical underpinning for the Geo-Wiki are outlined in the January issue (online version) of the international journal Environmental Monitoring and Software (see below).

Geo-Wiki uses Google Earth as the delivery platform and crowd-sourcing as the mechanism for collecting and verifying land cover data. Crowd-sourcing leverages the immense power of web technologies to capture data from a large and undefined group of people. Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook also offer enormous opportunities for capturing information across vast regions.

In the case of Geo-Wiki, when a volunteer registers, information is collected on where they live, their profession, and their local knowledge. They are asked to review locations or 'hotspots' - where data is missing or where there is disagreement over the land cover. The data inserted by a volunteer is 'quality assessed' via control points. This involves the use of an internal scoring mechanism which compares known validations with those provided by the volunteers, and hence allows the Geo-Wiki team to identify those users that are able to provide high quality validations. Data is also systematically compared with input from other users as another way of assessing dat
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Contact: Leane Regan
regan@iiasa.ac.at
43-066-444-30368
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Source:Eurekalert

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