Ethiopia/Botswana: Identifying potential hotspots at risk with respect to land acquisitions and Improving Food Security
The Problem: In particular in Ethiopia/Botswana, large disagreements occur among existing cropland maps and a crowd-sourcing exercise would help us to make a major step forward in being able to understand in which areas land acquisitions could impact existing agriculture and could potentially lead to the displacement of the local population. Large scale acquisition or leasing of lands in developing countries (e.g. Ethiopia/Botswana) for purposes such as biofuel production is on the rise. We will be able, with this hackathon challenge, to determine land use and hence 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 land availability is needed.
The Solution: Geo-Wiki is a crowdsourcing tool used to collect information with satellite imagery. You will be asked to identify the presence of cultivated land and settlements in samples taken from Ethiopia/Botswana, 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 determine if newly acquired land is truly idle or settled and cultivated.
The competition will end November 30th, 2012 at 23:59:59 CET.
Register and install the Google Earth plug-in as instructed and do as many validations as you can. A book prize (pictureearth.org) will be awarded to the top organisation at the end of the competition.
Register as a new user and provide the short name of your organisation (e.g. IIASA or ESA) or change your user details and add the organisation as an already registered user in your profile (you have to be logged in).