Mobile Apps for a Better Planet

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With the gigantic shift of communication media towards portable devices, mobile applications have seen a tremendous growth in the last 5 years or so. It is predicted that by 2017, approximately 5 billion people will be using mobile phones. We have covered a few apps in the past which had features that would help in understanding and improving human health. We are staring today at a rapid deterioration of our planet which has been accelerated to the growing pollution levels affecting our entire ecosystem.

Understanding changes to animal and plant species and their environments is crucial to the long-term well-being of our planet.

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The founders of EarthNC have formed this venture with the singular focus of bringing conservation into the 21st century. Conservation.IO is a mobile app platform that informs the public about conservation efforts and dangers; it is also useful to crowdsource critical information about the natural world. This platform is typically used by scientists, conservationists, resource managers and nature lovers from general public.

Conserve.IO is a cloud-based system that allows online and offline data gathering. Users can create their own database in a short amount of time. The following webinar demonstrates the work carried out by Conservation.IO and also its vision on carrying out new challenges.

The mix of mobile, web and crowd-sourcing technology simplifies collection of conservation data and also provides an actionable and scalable solution. Overall, this appears to be the better solution for existing antiquated methods for recording and publishing conservation data. Hopefully, this would be a cost saving solution as well.

Data collection, resource protection and outreach in one integrated platform.

Conservation.io is part of several projects including “Manatee Alert,” which informs boaters about speed zones and critical habitat areas. Conserve.IO with NOAA have built a WhaleAlert app. This is the first mobile application to make the process of complying with regulations intended to protect right whales in the N.E. United States much easier, and potentially, reduce the number of fatal whale strikes. Conserve.IO is now working to use this functionality across various critically endangered species and habitats.

Current app platforms include Spotter and Alert. Spotter uses smart phone GPS to facilitate geo-data collection and provides a customizable data driven back-end, cloud-based data collection and synchronization. It incorporates multiple base-map layers such as bathymetry and imagery and can incorporate alerts zones.

Alert automatically displays GPS triggered “Do’s and Don’ts” by species, seasonal limits and region. It can integrate multiple layers of maps, satellite imagery and weather and can be published to over 30,000 boating mobile application users.

The immense potential of mobile apps can be harnessed in a way that would boost the efforts for conservation of our species. With apps and platforms like these that bring together various people, we will better understand changes to our environment, and facilitate consensual action leading to a more conscious and sustainable existence for all of us.

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