Chapter

Mapping Wilderness

pp 89-101

Date:

Mapping Human Impact Using Crowdsourcing

  • Linda SeeAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Email author 
  • , Steffen FritzAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Christoph PergerAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Christian SchillAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Franziska AlbrechtAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Ian McCallumAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Dmitry SchepaschenkoAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Marijn Van der VeldeAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • , Florian KraxnerAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
    • , Ujjal Deka BaruahAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Anup SaikiaAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Kuleswar SinghAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Sergio de-MiguelAffiliated withFaculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern FinlandDepartament de Producció Vegetal i Ciència Forestal, Universitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio Center (UdL-Agrotechnio)
    • , Rubul HazarikaAffiliated withB. Borooah College
    • , Ankita SarkarAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Abel Alan MarcariniAffiliated withAgroParis Tech
    • , Mrinal BaruahAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Dhrubajyoti SahariahAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Trishna ChangkakatiAffiliated withGauhati University
    • , Michael ObersteinerAffiliated withInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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Abstract

This chapter outlines how crowdsourcing and Google Earth have been used to create the first global crowdsourced map of human impact. Human impact in this context refers to the degree to which the landscape has been modified by humans as visible from satellite imagery on Google Earth. As human impact is measured on a continuum, it could be used to indicate the wildest areas on the Earth. This bottom-up approach to mapping using the crowd is in contrast to more traditional GIS-based wilderness mapping methods, which integrate proximity-based layers of remoteness and indicators of biophysical naturalness in a top-down manner. Data on human impact were collected via a number of different data collection campaigns using Geo-Wiki, a tool for visualization, crowdsourcing and validation of global land cover. An overview of the crowdsourced data is provided, along with the resulting map of human impact and a visual comparison with the map of human footprint (Sanderson EW, Jaiteh M, Levy MA, et al. BioSci 52:891–904. doi:10.​1641/​0006-3568(2002)052[0891:​THFATL]2.​0.​CO;2, 2002).

Keywords

Wilderness Human impact Human footprint Geo-Wiki Crowdsourcing Land cover