For the first time, the GMES Masters awarded the most creative business applications for public and commercial use in Earth monitoring. On 19 October 2011 the winners of the first European Earth Monitoring Competition (GMES Masters) were awarded in Munich, Germany.
Out of an impressive 108 proposals from 17 countries, the winner of the first GMES Masters prize is the ‘Deforest Action Earth Watchers’ system, submitted by Dutch geo-information company GEODAN.
The overall winner is an ambitious project called DeforestAction EarthWatchers. This project aims at empowering world citizens in rainforest monitoring. The project uses crowd sourcing – which involves millions of volunteers in analysing near real-time satellite imagery – to help stop illegal deforestation.
The system links social media to enable cooperation and collaborative intelligence with advanced use of GMES land-monitoring data. It provides a new approach to education by involving students directly in the conservation effort and going beyond classroom lectures on deforestation.
A crucial component deploys ground teams to confirm or disprove illegal deforestation suggested by EarthWatchers and engage local authorities to actually take action if necessary.