ERC funds IIASA crowdsourcing project

A €1.4 million grant is taking Geo-Wiki from the computer to the field and helping to boost citizen science efforts in Africa and Europe.

© Hustgh | Dreamstime

© Hustgh | Dreamstime

The European Research Council has awarded a highly competitive Consolidator Grant to Steffen Fritz, leader and conceiver of IIASA’s citizen science project, Geo-Wiki. The €1.4 million grant will help take the team’s research from the computer to the real world, building a network of citizen scientists to provide in situ data on land cover and land use in Austria, Kenya, and Tanzania, using mobile apps and Geo-Wiki. Understanding where cropland is located is important for future food production as well as for monitoring environmental changes such as deforestation [1] [2].


[1] See L, Schepaschenko D, Lesiv M, McCallum I, Fritz S, Perger C, Vakolyuk M, Schepaschenko M, van der Velde M, Kraxner F, Obersteiner M et al. (2014). Building a hybrid land cover map with crowdsourcing and geographically weighted regression. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

[2] See L, Fritz S, McCallum I (2014). Satellite data: Beyond sharing Earth observations. Nature, 514(7521):168.


Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya

Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya

The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), Kenya

Kenya Climate Prediction and Applications Center, Kenya

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Djibouti

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya

Austrian Environmental Agency, Austria

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Last edited: 21 April 2015


Steffen Fritz

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Strategic Initiatives Program

Principal Research Scholar Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

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European Research Council

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313