The opportunities of Crowdmapping

In the spring of 2020 during COVID-19 quarantine more than 400 volunteers helped map all (or at least almost all) wildfires in Russia. 

Wildfires around the Baikal lake, see the full map.

The resulted 13.5 million hectares of burned area are not reflected in the official statistics. Most of these fires happened outside official forest lands, although still covered by forests. Those are usually abandoned agrucultural lands where owners should pay a huge fine or get rid of these forests. And burning is the cheapest option.

This crowdsourced effort was possible thanks to a specially designed Live Mapping (Lima) platform where lots of users can simulteneousely map objects in web interface with all the data pre-uploaded.

We have uploaded the code for the Lima platform so that you could use it whenever you have a project requiring collective data generation. Server is written in NodeJS using MongoDB for user management. PostgreSQL PostGIS database and vector tiles server Martin are being used for storing/accessing drawn polygons. The key feature is using websockets for immediate updates.

Find the code on Global Mapping Hub GitHub page. Let`s unleash the potential of Crowdsourcing for nature protection!

If have questions on using Lima, contact Alexey Drozdovskiy from Greenpeace Russia.

Author Marina Drozdovskaya