Switzerland, November 20, 2014: At the recently concluded GEO Eleventh Plenary Session held in Geneva, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) announced the winners of its GEO Appathon 2014. The winning GEO-Apps ranged from a location, soil and climate-specific guide for farmers and gardeners to identify the best crops to grow, to a real time flood and landslide warning system for El Salvador.
The first prize was won by Growers Nation App, followed by Weather Hazard and Geofairy. Developed by a team led by Tobias Sturn, in association with International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), University of Maryland (UMD) and UK Met Office, Growers Nation App provides useful information on the plants that can be best grown according to the specific soil and climate data at a precise location.
The app is aimed primarily for smallholder farmers in developing countries and will allow them to view a wealth of information allowing a crop diversity plan to be placed into action. Furthermore, a simple social networking system can allow users to discuss specific plant types and any issues.
The first runner-up, Weather Hazard app, serves to inform the public about weather and associated hazard conditions in El Salvador, in particular, landslides and flood conditions triggered during the rainy season. The app was developed by David Eliseo Martínez Castellanos who is based in El Salvador.
The second runner-up, Geofairy app, provides localised information on weather, vegetation, elevation, soil moisture, land cover, atmosphere and precipitation, information that is often difficult to acquire in developing countries. According to Piping Di from the CSISS Center at George Mason University, who developed the app, Geofairy could guide people in developing countries to make plans and take actions to prevent environmental degradation.
Additional prizes were awarded to LiquidEarth-River — an app using satellite radar altimeter data to forecast flood conditions downstream, and Appathon@K-Bon — an app and website for collecting the global distribution information of plants and animals with a “remote” species identification process.
“The GEO Appathon 2014 was a tremendous success in raising awareness about GEO and Earth observation data world-wide,” stated Barbara J. Ryan, GEO Director, “and it has led to the development of applications using Earth observation data that could have significant impacts across the globe.”
The GEO Appathon 2014 began with a kick-off event in May 2014 at the Geospatial World Forum held in Geneva, which included inspiring presentations from the National Research Council of Italy, Open Geospatial Consortium, Qingtech and GIS Cloud. Additional support for the competition was provided by USAID, Geospatial Media, Esri and Microsoft.
These apps were developed during a six month competition that attracted almost 250 individuals from close to 50 countries. All of the winning apps are based on the Android platform, and several are already available on the Google Play Store and Apple Store.