We’ve teamed up with the SkyEye Project in the Philippines to launch our next MicroMappers Challenge. Coconut trees are a very important source of livelihood for millions of people in tropical countries. Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes uproot and destroy millions of coconut trees every year. This was true of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year, resulting in millions of coconut trees being destroyed in one country alone. To make matters worse, these trees eventually rot, which can lead to a Rhinoceros Beetle infestation that can wipe out a country’s entire coconut industry.
How to Get Involved: Be a Digital Humanitarian and search for damaged coconut trees. The MicroMappers Philippines Challenge will run from December 5th – 7th. We will post more details this blog and on the mailing list. Join: MicroMappers mailing list..
SkyEye uses UAVs to support disaster response efforts in the Philippines. UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are remote control airplanes and helicopters. We know the team at SkyEye well, they are on the Advisory Board of the Humanitarian UAV Network together with the United Nations and Red Cross. More on Sky Eye’s good work here. (They were also recently featured on CNN). As part of their humanitarian UAV missions, SkyEye collects thousands of aerial photographs on a regular basis. Analyzing these images often takes a lot of time. So they need help, which is where we come in.
Our mission will be to trace uprooted coconut trees in order to help our colleagues in the Philippines identify areas that have been most affected by recent disasters. The resulting traces will also be used by computer vision experts to try and create an algorithm that can automatically identify trees that have been knocked down. So our MicroMappers expedition to the Philippines will help our partners now and also in the future as well as disaster responders in other tropical countries. Just imagine, with our help, humanitarian organizations may be able to semi-automatically identify the impact of disasters on local agriculture and thus food security in just a matter of hours.
So join us for our next expedition, become a Digital Humanitarian and help make a difference. The faster we can assess the damage after a major disaster, the more quickly responders can provide relief to those affected. The MicroMappers Philippines Challenge will run from December 5th – 7th. For updates on this challenge and to join our efforts, make sure you have added yourself to the MicroMappers list-serve here.