India: Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) and the University of Alabama have joined hands for a crowdsourcing project to assess land use changes in the Western Ghat region. The teams will use GPS-equipped smartphones to gather ground information. This data will be used to supplement satellite imagery.
The pilot project would be implemented in one district. Biodiveristy Clubs will be used to mobilise volunteers. The volunteers will simply use smartphones to take pictures. The phones will calculate the geographical coordinates. The project aims at collecting large amounts of data and uploading it to a database which can be used by state agencies for analysis. The data could be used in understanding urban growth, the extent of green cover and the impact of reforestation programmes. The project has been submitted to NASA for funding under the Applied Science Programme.