Develop a tool, such as a crowd-sourcing application, to gather information about invasive species in your neighborhood.
To provide for a common, dynamic and up-to date database for both the common citizen as well as for scientists and researchers about specie distribution in a target locality, and to spread awareness about various ecological problems faced in the modern day world.
EcoSnap is designed as a community driven location based social app with multiple facets of benefits once implemented. Using an initial database provided by iNat api, the app provides users information about all nearby species of plants and animals of a locality, and a description of each if user so desires. Users also have the option to record their sighting of any plant or animal, take a picture or video of the same, and upload. These location and time-stamped data go through a verification process à la Wikipedia to check for factual correctness, and is then added to the central database. These observations also show up in the social feed of nearby EcoSnap users, giving them the options to upvote, comment or report the observation.
Applications, Future Possibilities
Once a sufficiently big time and location stamped database has formed, this data can be manipulated and extrapolated using ML to arrive at various conclusions and predictions. For example, if a species not usually found in a locality is observed, it can be tagged as an alien species, and combated if necessary. If number of observations of one particular abnormal species increases, the inference is that the specie has become invasive in nature. Thus the app can act as an early waring system to effectively tackle alien trace invaders.
Another application would be, with enough time and geo-stamped data, to trace migration paths of various migratory species effectively. The app would also be able to give user notification if his or her location is in a migration corridor, approximate time during the year when they may be able to observe a passing through migratory species, steps they can take to help the species(like planting appropriate plants, water baths etc). Also, overlaying the variations in species density and migration path with geographical and climatic changes of a location, correlation between these data can be found and studied by the users.
Providing a social media experience for user while at the same time collecting useful biodiversity data and spreading ecological awareness.
Initial database on animal distribution provided by iNat api, location and geographic maps by Google maps api
Source code : https://github.com/WishnuViz/ecosnap
SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.