This project is solving the Forest Monitor Mapping challenge. Description
Challenge: Forest Monitor Mapping
Project name: Space Foresters
Our team comes from different backgrounds, but we all share a common interest in making the earth a better place. That led us to an idea of creating an app that can monitor deforestation, the reasons behind it and the users' response to it through a fun game with educational tips embedded in. We chose a game because of how engaging it can be and at the same time we can gather useful data, raise awareness and educate people while having fun.
Space is infinite, but we are living on earth and we must protect it. Our research showed that loss of forests can lead to multiple effects such as loss of species, climate change, water cycle changes and poor life quality. We read these and we felt the need to make people more aware about it since as we believe that "small acts when multiplied by millions can change the world" - Howard Zinn
Before the space apps challenge we had not been fully aware of the problem of deforestation and its effects. Lack of education and awareness only reduces our chances of tackling this problem making its effects even more visible. Therefore, we thought this is an opportunity and a challenge to share the knowledge we gathered about it. We want to entertain people and offer them the opportunity to contribute in countering this problem.
SOLUTION - SPACEFORESTER APP
Our proposal for this challenge is an app that can be split in two modes, which work together so we can have a virtual to real world connection and vice versa.
SOLUTION - THE GAME MODE
The idea behind the first mode is a game that lets the users become newly recruited Space Foresters, from their space station they can protect the world. They can detect forest disasters, plant trees, get educational information, and learn relative information about forests around the world. The virtual map is based on earth and it is divided in 6 regions of multiple areas. In addition, to proceed to the next area, the user has to unlock the previous one. The same applies to regions. The user cannot skip any region or area that is not completed. In order to complete an area, the player must reach the required oxygen target. The game currency will be «Selini» coming from the Cypriot word meaning coins and the greek word «Σελήνη» which is translated into the moon. Oxygen is necessary, consequently the Space Forester must plant trees to produce oxygen. There are certain types of trees- based on real data- that match each forest, with different producing factors concerning the time, oxygen, seeds and «Selini». During the game, alert signs will appear at irregular periods of time. These alerts represent deforestation events which decrease the oxygen status and bring trees down. Moreover, «DID YOU KNOW» Pop-up windows will appear both at events and other common occurrences with educational text. For example, those tips will appear when the player unlocks new tree types or areas of the world.
SOLUTION - THE EVENT MODE
In the second mode named "Events", the users of the application have the ability to report any deforesting disaster that they may detect, by writing a detailed description of the event and attach GPS location tag and upload photographs for validation. These information will be linked through social media to allow the word to spread even to people not using the app. The data will be open-sourced, allowing organizations to run often sought after predictions and evaluations. If the reports that are collected from the users are validated then the application users are notified by a pop-up window and a Bonus Challenge is created in-game which must be countered. In the events mode, there is a near me section where users can check about nearby deforestation events that happened over a short period of time. This means that people can be aware of what is happening in their own country and be more responsive to it. Also, at the Urgent section, live events are being posted through news or social media informing users of disasters that are happening around the world. Last but not least, the events section where non-profit-organizations, as well as municipalities, can promote their reforestation events so users will be able to contribute to the solution of the problem. We hope that this will be a testament of bonding between people over the problem.
Our vision on this project is to make the world a better place, therefore we want to develop the application and through statistical formulas measure the impact on our users and other non-profit organizations. Future additions can be that data collected may be distributed to proper authorities, money raised can be given for reforestation and a satellite integration where events can be confirmed automatically.
There is a demo of the game attached below as well as the basic design for the events mode, so feel free to try it.
Enjoy playing our game and making an impact to the world.
License: GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)
Source Code/Project URL: https://fotiskb.proto.io/share/?id=7fc8fa01-41a2-4094-8970-5713b7629bf2&v=8
Deforestation facts - http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html
Information on maps and forests - http://www.globalforestwatch.org/
Data on real-time fires - https://earthdata.nasa.gov/data/near-real-time-data/firms
Causes of deforestation - http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-deforestation.php