LandSpotting aims to improve the quality of forest or cropland area land cover information by vastly increasing the amount of in-situ validation data available for calibration and validation of satellite-derived land cover.


The Geo-Wiki system currently allows users to compare three satellite-derived land cover products and validate them using Google Earth. However, there is presently no incentive for anyone to provide this data so the amount of validation through Geo-Wiki has been quite limited.

The LandSpotting project will take an innovative approach by adding crowdsourcing through the development of a game. The game will engage users while simultaneously collecting a large amount of in-situ land cover information. The development of the game will be informed by the current raft of successful social gaming available on the internet and as mobile applications, many of which are geo-spatial in nature.


At the same time, the Geo-Wiki system will be modified to exploit the latest available satellite images and to use the acquired in-situ validation information to create new outputs: a hybrid land cover map, which takes the best information from each individual product to create a single integrated version; a database of validation points that will be freely available to the land cover user community; and a facility that allows users to create a specific targeted area, which will then be provided to the crowdsourcing community for validation. The project will engage users via workshops and ensure the future sustainability of the Geo-Wiki system.

IIASA Research

IIASA is the project coordinator, responsible for overall project management and scientific coordination. In particular, this involves further development of the Geo-Wiki, linkage between the various groups hosting the server and the games, and the design and validation of the resultant hybrid land cover product.