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Geo-Wiki: Earth observation & citizen science

Uploaded by Dilek Fraisl on 09 December 2019
Last modified on 10 December 2019

The Geo-Wiki was established in 2009 in what is now known as the Center for Earth Observation and Citizen Science (EOCS), located within the Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM) at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.

An early beta-version was developed in partnership with the University of Freiburg, Germany and the University of Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Geo-wiki is a platform for engaging citizens in both biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring. It aids in both the validation of existing geographical information and the collection of new geographical information through crowdsourcing.

The Geo-Wiki platform provides citizens with the means to engage in environmental monitoring of the earth by providing feedback on existing information overlaid on satellite imagery or by contributing entirely new data. Data can be input via the traditional desktop platform or mobile devices, with campaigns and games used to incentivize input. These innovative techniques have been used to successfully integrate citizen-derived data sources with expert and authoritative data.

Since 2009, Geo-Wiki has grown rapidly, with currently over 15,000 registered users and applications in many successful citizen science campaigns, most recently crowdsourcing global agricultural field-size data, performing post-disaster damage assessment, poverty mapping and more. They have many ongoing projects that bring together the field of Earth Observation and citizen science, including several citizen observatories funded by the EU, which are developing new services such as land cover change detection, quality assurance of citizen science data, supporting local food growers and more.


  • Adapt UHI - Urban heat islands and climate change are having an impact on smart urban development. ADAPT-UHI will help to identify targeted mitigation and adaptation measures.
  • FloodCitiSense - FloodCitiSense aims at developing an urban pluvial flood early warning service for, but also by citizens and city authorities. This service will reduce the vulnerability of urban areas and citizens.
  • LandSense - The LandSense Citizen Observatory aims to aggregate innovative EO technologies to empower communities to monitor and report on their environment.
  • WeObserve - WeObserve is an H2020 Coordination and Support Action (CSA) which tackles three key challenges that Citizens Observatories (COs) face: awareness, acceptability and sustainability.
  • CIMMYT collaboration - A collaborative project between IIASA and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico to support efforts of sustainable agricultural intensification with mobile crowdsourcing.
  • GROW - A European-wide project engaging thousands of growers, scientists and others passionate about the land. We will discover together, using simple tools to better manage soil and grow food.
  • Copernicus Global Land Cover - The project aims to develop annual global land cover maps with a 100m resolution consistent over time, and has been tracking land cover changes since 2015.
  • Zurich Flood Resilience - The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance is a global alliance which aims to improve the resilience of communities around the globe to hazards associated with flooding.
  • Restore+ - Restore+ combines remote sensing with crowdsourced information on biophysical and social complexity of degraded land. The information will assess restoration options with multi-objective models.

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