Coconut Tree and MicroMapper Primer

Coconut (Cocos Nucifera L.) is popularly known as the “Tree of Life” because of the variety of products and by-products made from the tree namely: coconut meat, oil, juice, husk, shell, shell charcoal, leaves, husk, pith, inflorescence, trunk and roots.

UPDATE (December 5, 2014): The MicroMappers Coconut Expedition is now live. Join us!

The MicroMappers Coconut Expedition is just days away. If you are new to MicroMapping or returning participant, we’re delighted that you will join us. MicroMapping is an easy task taking less than 1 minute to complete one image. But beware, drawing via the MicroMappers AerialClicker tool may become addictive. We’re preparing some guides to help you learn more about coconuts and why this expedition matters. For a general introduction to MicroMappers, please click here.

Join the MicroMappers Coconut Expedition: Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7th.

Behind the scenes: MicroMapper Expedition

In previous posts, we’ve shared a bit about our partners SkyEye Project and Simon Fraser University Computing. SkyEye Project used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology to take 1000s of digital photos. The team at QCRI processed these images and have inserted them into our MicroMapper tool, AerialClicker. MicroMapper tools enable digital humanitarians to interact with text or images. MicroMappers (that’s you!) make decisions about the content. In this case, you will draw or trace lines highlighting healthy and damaged trees. Each image will be reviewed by at least 5 different MicroMappers. All the data will be tabulated and given to researchers at Simon Fraser University Computing. This team will create an algorithm to assess damaged coconut trees. In the future, this type of machine computing could be used to assess damage in post-disaster zones. We will also share results with you.

Right now, we are testing the images to prepare for your MicroMapper Weekend.

Assessing the Damage:

Coconut trees in the Philippines are a major part of the economy. In addition to hurricane damaged crops, there is a risk if infestation to damaged trees by the Rhinoceros beetles. These bugs eat the fronds (leaves) of palm and coconut trees. Fallen decaying trees become zones to develop more beetles. This cycle is event more dangerous for healthy trees.

In this BBC report, you can learn more about the people affected by the damage:

Getting to Know the Coconut Tree

Diagram of a Coconut tree

Bay Bay, Tacunan, Kinabalan and Laguna are just a few the over 12 types (either dwarf and tall) of Coconut trees that grow in the Philippines. We don’t expect MicroMappers to be able to know all the differences of these types, but in case you want to learn more see this article on AgroFish Portal for more descriptions. Still hungry to learn more? The Encyclopedia of Life has an extensive article covering every scientific fact you will want to know about Cocos Nucifera (Coconuts).

Uses of the Mighty Coconut Tree

Coconut trees feed the economy. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority coconut crops account for 26% total agricultural land in country.

coconut uses infographic

Learn how the coconut tree provides all-around benefits — from its husks and roots to coconut oil — through our infographic “Plant of Life: An Infographic on Various Coconut Uses.

Learn more:


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