The Geo-Wiki is a platform allowing people to engage in environmental monitoring by validating existing land-cover datasets or by contributing new data. This data can be uploaded via mobile as well as personal computers, and all outputs are publically available.
This initiative has several ‘branches’ which focus on specific land-use and land-cover themes. The branches relevant to deforestation and land-cover change include the ‘Main Branch’, which collects validation information on three global land-cover products: GLC-2000, MODIS v.5 and GlobCover2005, and stores these in a database to be used in developing more accurate global land-cover maps.
The ‘Biomass Geo-Wiki’ branch collects global data on biomass stocks and develops these into a freely available visualisation tool. Different datasets are brought together and overlaid on Google Earth, allowing users to view and access biomass datasets and to identify gaps.
Two branches are concerned with agricultural production and its social and environmental impacts. The first is ‘Livestock Geo-Wiki’ which maps the distribution of livestock (e.g. cattle, pigs, chickens, duck, sheep and goats) and aims to model their positive and negative impacts on: i) poverty and growth; ii) health and nutrition; and iii) climate and natural resource management.
The second is ‘SIGMA Geo-Wiki’ is part of Europe’s contribution to ‘Global Agricultural Geo-Monitoring’ (GEOGLAM) launched by the G20 in 2011. GEOGLAM aims to improve crops forecasting and transparency of agricultural production in order to improve agriculture’s environmental impact.