Outil de recherche

Avez-vous essayé de trouver un outil pour aider votre communauté à agir et finalement vous êtes inondés par la gamme et l’étendue des options? 

Vous n’êtes pas le seul. Il existe de nombreux outils qui peuvent être utiles aux communautés de défenseurs de la terre, et il peut être difficile de déterminer lesquels fonctionnent le mieux pour vous. Ce guide interactif est conçu pour vous aider à trouver le bon outil en répondant à quelques questions adaptées au travail de défenseur de la terre. Répondez aux questions en appuyant sur une ou plusieurs cases et puis la liste des outils ci-dessous sera filtrée en conséquence. gly. 

Souhaitez-vous partager des informations sur un outil qui n’est pas encore disponible ici? N’hésitez pas à partager ce que vous savez sur le forum.

J’ai besoin d’un outil qui...

Prendre des décisions concernant l'utilisation des terres et la gestion des ressources
Surveiller les menaces ou les incursions sur les terres
Plaider en faveur du changement ou demander des droits fonciers
Enregistrer et archiver les connaissances et les histoires locales sur les terres

J'ai accès à...

Ordinateurs disponibles localement
Smartphones disponible localement
Drones disponible localement

Je veux utiliser des outils pour...

Est entièrement gratuit
Nous permettra d'avoir un contrôle local ou hors ligne de nos données
Est traduisible dans les langues locales / minoritaires
Fonctionne dans des zones éloignées et hors ligne
Nous aidera à partager et publier des données en ligne
Est simple et facile d'utilisation

La trousse à outils Earth Defenders

Je veux utiliser des outils pour:

J'ai accès à:

Je veux utiliser des outils pour:

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OUTILS SÉLECTIONNÉS

Aucun outil ne répond à ces critères. Si vous souhaitez partager davantage sur vos besoins avec la communauté Earth Defenders, pour voir si quelqu'un peut vous aider, n'hésitez pas à écrire sur le Forum.

Si vous connaissez un outil qui correspond à ces besoins, n'hésitez pas à partager les informations à ce sujet sur le Forum.

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Āhau

Āhau is a Whānau (Māori-language word for extended family) Data Platform that helps whānau-based communities capture, preserve, and share important information and histories into secure, whānau managed databases and servers. It is good for maintaining family registries and capturing and preserving cultural heritage, and all data is collected, stored and shared using your own personal devices. Āhau is easily installed on any PC, Mac, or Linux computer. Why use Āhau, in the words of the creators: “You can use Āhau whenever you come across an important piece of information that should be remembered and stored safely for future generations.”

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PROS:

  • Built with principles of data sovereignty front of mind by an Indigenous-led team.
  • User-friendly interface that feels like a social networking application.
  • Decentralized, peer-to-peer data storage (no centralized servers).
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Right now, it’s difficult to customize the application for non-Māori usage, but the Āhau team is willing to work with any community across the globe to help adapt the software.
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ArcGIS Pro & ArcMap

ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap are geographic information system (GIS) software applications for working with maps and geographic information, maintained by the company Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). These tools are used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information, using maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and managing geographic information in a database. The two applications provide similar tools and functionality - ArcMap (also known as ArcGIS Desktop) is the older software that has been around for almost twenty years, and ArcGIS Pro is a much newer version; eventually, Esri plans on phasing out ArcMap completely in favor of ArcGIS Pro, but they are still maintaining ArcMap because many users are still actively working with it. ArcGIS is considered the industry standard for GIS software, and it is used by many government entities, academics, non-governmental organizations, tribal councils, and others that may contribute to or intersect with projects by earth defender communities. It is, however, proprietary software and can be expensive. In some countries like North America and Canada, it is relatively easy to get access for (registered) Indigenous communities, but elsewhere it can be trickier. 

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PROS:

  • ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap are comprehensive tools that combine data processing, geospatial analysis, cartography and mapmaking in one.
  • Both softwares work entirely offline, and your data can be stored locally.
  • ArcGIS Pro in particular has a modern design and user interface.
  • All of the different ArcGIS tools (ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboards, ArcGIS Survey123 and Collector)  are deeply integrated and it is very easy to transfer data and maps between them.
  • The software is frequently upgraded, and Esri staff actively addresses any bugs reported by users.
  • The software has an active and wide user base.

CONS:

  • ArcGIS can cost money to maintain, depending on your ability to access licensing.
  • ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap offer hundreds of different tools and functions, which may be overwhelming for users with limited technical knowledge.
  • ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap have a high learning curve.
  • The company Esri is building its entire suite of tools towards increased internet integration with ArcGIS Online, which may become problematic in the future for offline users.
  • There is no support for translation to local languages.
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ArcGIS StoryMaps & Dashboard

ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboard are two tools for sharing and visualizing information online, maintained by the company Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). ArcGIS StoryMaps is a story authoring web-based application that enables you to share your maps in the context of narrative text and other multimedia content. Many earth defender communities have used StoryMaps to tell stories about their land, culture, or history using interactive maps and other media content. The template is easy to use and doesn’t require any technical knowledge, and offers a lot of options for laying out maps, and customizing the design. ArcGIS ArcGIS Dashboards can be used to make sense of location-based data using intuitive and interactive data visualizations on a single screen. You can put together a Dashboard with maps of your land along with graphs and analysis of field data, and important geospatial information like deforestation data or zonal demarcations. Both tools utilize Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform where the maps and data are stored.

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PROS:

  • ArcGIS StoryMaps is easy to use, and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.
  • ArcGIS StoryMaps look really nice on both computers and phones.
  • Once set up, ArcGIS Dashboards function really well and will dynamically analyze geospatial data once updated.
  • All of the different ArcGIS tools (ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboards, ArcGIS Survey123 and Collector) are deeply integrated and it is very easy to transfer data and maps between them.
  • ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboards can incorporate data submitted by Survey123 or Collector directly, as they are submitted and without need for processing.
  • The public-facing text from both tools can be translated into any language.
  • The software is frequently upgraded, and Esri staff actively addresses any bugs reported by users.
  • The software has an active and wide user base.

CONS:

  • ArcGIS can cost money to maintain, depending on your ability to access licensing.
  • ArcGIS Dashboards has a moderate learning curve.
  • In most cases, you will need to upload and host your data on ArcGIS Online.
  • For sharing data on public ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboards, you will need to set all of your data to be publicly accessible as well, which means other ArcGIS users can use the data in their own maps. You need to be very careful with how you add data to ArcGIS Online, because you may end up accidentally sharing confidential or private information attached to a shapefile intended for visualization.
  • It is possible that as Esri develops newer templates, existing ones become “deprecated” meaning they will stop supporting them over time and they may become buggy after a long time.
  • Neither tool works offline.
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ArcGIS Survey123 & Collector

ArcGIS Survey123 and Collector are field data collection applications, maintained by the company Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). Both applications allow you to create and fill out custom forms and questionnaires, with the option to collect and update geospatial data including points, lines, and polygons. You can also add the option to take a photo. Like OpenDataKit or KoboToolbox, you can create your own forms and provide your own translations, including the ability to choose between languages. There are also user-friendly web-based interfaces for building these surveys, which makes it really easy to get started using these tools. The way it works is that once you have downloaded a form, you can fill it out while in the field, and then submit the data when you come back online - it will then be collected on ArcGIS Online along with other people’s data submissions. From ArcGIS Online, you can either download the data, or use it in an application like ArcGIS Dashboards or StoryMaps. The main difference between Survey123 and Collector is that you can build more advanced forms using Survey123 with “nested” questions that follow up on one of your previous responses. Also, the interface for Collector is more map-based, similar to an application like Mapeo Mobile, whereas Survey12 is more focused on the form itself. Earth defender communities have used these tools for both mapping and monitoring purposes.

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PROS:

  • Both applications work on Android and Apple (iPhone) smartphones.
  • It’s possible to translate the forms into your own language, and choose between different languages.
  • All of the different ArcGIS tools (ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, ArcGIS StoryMaps and Dashboards, ArcGIS Survey123 and Collector) are deeply integrated and it is very easy to transfer data and maps between them.
  • You can set the data to show up on ArcGIS web maps, StoryMaps or Dashboards right away, so there is no additional need for form data processing.
  • The software is frequently upgraded, and Esri staff actively addresses any bugs reported by users.
  • The software has an active and wide user base.

CONS:

  • ArcGIS can cost money to maintain, depending on your ability to access licensing.
  • To fully access the data, you have to come online and upload your form submissions to ArcGIS Online. Therefore the workflow for using these apps is dependent on the internet.
  • There is no peer-to-peer sharing of the data while offline / in the field. So if you have multiple people collecting data, there is no way to visualize that data together without going online.
  • While the forms can be translated, the application interface has to stay in your device’s default language.
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Cadasta

Cadasta offers an open and flexible suite of mobile and web-based tools designed to help users collect, manage, and store land and resource rights data. Cadasta’s current platform is built on ArcGIS and offers communities free access to Esri’s wide array of tools for purposes of land and resource rights data collection and monitoring. (See the other ArcGIS tools in this guide for more information on those.) Cadasta also has a very helpful training and support center with training courses, a knowledge base, community forum, and support from their staff to answer questions about their toolkit.  Their resources are available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Kiswahili, Bangla, Hindi, and Indonesian.

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PROS:

  • Toolkit tailored to a specific earth defender need (land and resource rights).
  • Knowledgeable and friendly support staff with global experience working with communities.
  • See the pros listed for the individual ArcGIS tools in this guide.

CONS:

  • See the cons listed for the individual ArcGIS tools in this guide.
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Community Lands

Community Lands allows users with very limited computer literacy and with no internet access to build their own website from scratch. The software was developed for local communities who wanted these websites to showcase their way of life, and to publish news and stories about the threats and challenges they face and the host of efforts they engage in to protect their lands. Community Lands is open-source software for creating and laying out a local website while offline, which can also be uploaded to an online server if the community choses to do so. This can be a useful tool for earth defender communities who want to maintain information about themselves or their land (like a land or management plan), and in some cases, share that information with a broader public.

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PROS:

  • Built with principles of data sovereignty front of mind.
  • Easy to use interface for designing websites.
  • Works entirely offline, with the ability to synchronize to the web.
  • Integratable with maps generated in the Mapeo software.
  • The software is free and open-source, but you need to request an account from the administrator.

CONS:

  • Currently, not much technical support is possible due to a lack of resources.
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Field Papers

Field Papers is a tool to help you make annotations or sketches on a printed map, and easily integrate that back into the map. The way it works is that you can print out pages of a map. Community members can draw or write on those maps. The pages come with a QR code which is used to bring that information back into the maps by putting the information in a geographical information system (GIS) format. This can be useful for mapping workshops where you are trying to get input from many community members at once, and/or you want everyone to have their own map page to work with. The standard map used by Field Papers is OpenStreetMap but it’s possible to put in your own maps.

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PROS:

  • Useful tool for community sketch mapping.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Field Papers currently does not appear to be maintained.
  • The available documentation is very short and not detailed.
  • Tricky to set up custom maps, and may result in glitchy behavior.
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FieldKit

FieldKit is a low-cost environmental sensing tool (hardware and software) that can be used to measure and collect data about water quality, air quality, and weather conditions. FieldKit stations are built to be easily deployed, and an accompanying mobile app makes configuration and maintenance simple. There is an online platform that can help you visualize the station data, discover trends and patterns, and share your findings. FieldKit was created in the context of a conservation project in the Congo rainforest to measure microclimates in the forest canopy. The FieldKit staff is very interested in potential usage of their tools by Indigenous and other local communities, and would welcome inquiries by getting in touch via their website. According to FieldKit, the Hardware is built with environmentally responsible manufacturing conditions, and you can send back equipment to them for recycling and re-using.

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PROS:

  • FieldKit has clear and detailed product and how-to guides.
  • Users have full control over how data is shared, and selective sharing (with trusted collaborators) is possible.
  • Data can easily be exported to existing commonly used formats such as CSV, JSON, and XML.
  • There is a map interface to show you where data was collected.
  • FieldKit hardware is modular so can be customized according to need.
  • There is a community of users, with an active developer base.
  • The software platform and smartphone app are free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Depending on your need, the hardware can be expensive.
  • Advanced data visualization and exploration of trends is reliant on the online FieldKit web portal.
  • You may need to rely on an technical expert to help set up FieldKit hardware.
  • Currently, FieldKit is only available in a few languages.
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Forest Watcher

The Forest Watcher mobile app brings the online forest monitoring and alert systems of Global Forest Watch offline and into the field. By setting up an area to monitor and downloading deforestation and fire alerts, you can take this information with you to help investigate and report what you find, regardless of Internet connectivity. There is also a web version of the application which allows you to view and collect reports, create and assign areas of interest, and upload your own contextual data. This application is useful for earth defender communities who wish to monitor and report on land use changes or environmental threats taking place in their land. It is frequently used in tandem with the Global Forest Watch platform or MapBuilder, which are also covered in this guide.

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PROS:

  • Direct access to near-real-time deforestation alerts.
  • Easy to use application and interface.
  • Possible to upload custom basemaps and contextual layers directly into the mobile app.
  • Works entirely offline once deforestation alerts downloaded in an area of interest.
  • Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Dutch and Malagasy.
  • Works on both Android and Apple smartphones.
  • .APK file available for offline sharing of the application install files.

CONS:

  • Reliance on online server to download new alert data.
  • Though the in-app questionnaires can be created by the user in any language, the app interface is only available in the 7 languages listed above (though the development team may be able to add additional languages upon request.
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Global Forest Watch

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests. GFW allows anyone to access near real-time information about where and how forests are changing around the world. The main GFW interface is an interactive map of the world where you can turn different layers on and off for data such as forest change (including near real time deforestation alerts), land cover, land use, climate, and biodiversity. You can also use the interface to analyze deforestation trends for specific areas, either ones on the map (like a country or province), your own data which you can upload, or an area of interest you can draw directly on the map. It’s possible to create an account where you can subscribe to receive alerts and reports about areas. Communities and organizations around the world use GFW to monitor and manage forests, stop illegal deforestation and fires, call out unsustainable activities, defend their land and resources, sustainably source commodities, and conduct research at the forefront of conservation.

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PROS:

  • Provides highly useful data on deforestation and land use to get a sense of what is taking place in the land, and help monitor possible threats.
  • Easy-to-use interface, with helpful guidance on how to use the platform on first load.
  • Customization options allow you to get alerts and reports from GFW as things are happening.
  • GFW has very good basemap options that allow you to switch between different views like topography and satellite imagery.
  • GFW is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, and Chinese.
  • GFW provides some helpful How To guides, a help center, and a community forum. There are also small grants and fellowship opportunities available for communities. Also, the GFW team is very attentive to local community needs.
  • You can take GFW data offline using the Forest Watcher app, also covered in this guide.

CONS:

  • Currently, GFW is dependent on the internet.
  • Sometimes the global deforestation data analysis makes a small mistake, which may trigger an unwarranted alert status when nothing happened.
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Google Earth

Google Earth is a tool that provides satellite imagery for the entire world and allows users to search, pan, zoom, rotate, and tilt the view of the earth. Google Earth is available on several platforms: on the web, as a smartphone application, and there is a Desktop application called Google Earth Pro that is gradually being phased out. Rather than being a geographic information system (GIS) tool that provides advance analysis or cartographic design capacity, Google Earth focuses on delivering a seamless experience navigating a comprehensive archive of satellite imagery of the planet. In Google Earth web and Pro, you can add geographic data including GPS data and geospatial shapefiles, and also export views for print. With the Google Earth creation tools on the web, you can add your photos and videos, customize your view, create tours, and share and collaborate with others. Due to its ease of use and exceptionally clear 3D satellite imagery views, earth defender communities have used Google Earth to do “direct-to-digital” mapping where community members can easily identify, map, and share stories about places and features in the landscape. The Google Earth web interface has also been used by some communities to share information about storied places in their lands with the public. 

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PROS:

  • Easy to use and elegant, minimalistic user interface.
  • High quality satellite imagery with 3D terrain views.
  • Integration with data from a GPS and other kinds of geospatial information.
  • Google Earth creation tools are nice for choreographing a tour of a landscape that looks nice in 3D satellite view.

CONS:

  • Not possible to translate the application to local languages.
  • Limited cartography and view exporting options.
  • Satellite imagery doesn’t work offline in Google Earth Pro without doing some imperfect hacks, which may result in glitches.
  • Google Earth appears to be gradually phasing out its Google Earth Pro desktop software.
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Mapbox

Mapbox is one of the largest providers of custom maps for websites and mobile applications. Mapbox consists of a library of code that software developers can use to make their own map applications, as well as several applications. One of these applications is Mapbox Studio, which map designers can use to create and customize interactive maps using a user-friendly interface. Map styles created in Mapbox Studio can be exported and used by many other applications that can be useful for earth defender communities, such as Mapeo, Terrastories, and Ushahidi. More recently, Mapbox has also created a tool for telling stories using maps akin to Esri’s ArcGIS StoryMaps. While Mapbox’s interactive storytelling tool is not as easy to configure as ArcGIS StoryMaps and requires editing some code, it is free and very easy to host on your own server. Mapbox also has an extensive library of open-source tools, including some for generating map tiles that can be used in offline mapping applications. One of the latest developments by Mapbox has been the creation of a 3D Terrain layer which coupled with high resolution satellite imagery can be highly effective for visualizing local geographies, depending on location and accessibility of imagery. The Mapbox community team is keen to help Indigenous and marginalized communities use their tools, and welcomes inquiries from communities looking to use their tools; check out how they’ve helped communities and get in touch with them at https://mapbox.com/community.

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PROS:

  • Mapbox has a free tier and all of their tools are fully accessible without pay.
  • Mapbox maps integrate very well with other applications, and a number of the tools on this list use Mapbox as the map engine.
  • It is possible to export a map style designed in Mapbox Studio, which can be applied to offline map tiles.

CONS:

  • While Mapbox has a free tier, depending on your usage you may run into pricing issues.
  • Mapbox does not run offline, unless you obtain their commercial Mapbox Atlas product.
  • Mapbox appears to be moving away from open-source, with their GL JS v2 engine (which supports 3D terrain) no longer being under an open license.
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Mapbuilder

Want to create a version of the Global Forest Watch map, featuring your own data? MapBuilder is an easy to use tool which enables users to combine their own datasets with Global Forest Watch’s cutting-edge data and analysis tools. You can use MapBuilder to set up your own version of GFW with your own geospatial data layers, a custom map view, and provide some custom translations. MapBuilder applications can be deployed as stand-alone websites, embedded into your website or shared using integrated social media tools. Communities and organizations around the world use MapBuilder to monitor and manage forests, stop illegal deforestation and fires, call out unsustainable activities, defend their land and resources, sustainably source commodities, and conduct research at the forefront of conservation.

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PROS:

  • All of the same pros as GFW, covered in this guide.
  • Setting up MapBuilder can be done with a relatively easy user interface, and does not require any coding or server setup.

CONS:

  • All of the same cons as GFW, covered in this guide.
  • Using MapBuilder is reliant on ArcGIS Online, so you will need an account to use it.
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Mapeo

Mapeo was built with and for earth defenders to easily document environmental and human rights information and to collect data about their land. It can be used by individuals or by teams who want to collaborate and share information, and is particularly good at working in offline and remote environments. It is simple to use, free and accessible, and can be customized with local languages and settings .There is a Mapeo Mobile app, used to gather evidence in the field, to take photographs or record GPS points of significant places; and there is a Mapeo Desktop app, used to organize data collected on mobile or GPS, and to visualize, edit and create reports on which action can be taken which would be hard to do on a mobile. Both tools can work for individual or team projects as you can synchronize data between mobile devices, and from mobile to computer.

Mapeo was co-designed and developed with Indigenous communities who face threats to their land such as illegal gold mining, oil contamination and poaching and who want to document these activities in order to take community action against them, to report them to authorities, file lawsuits, launch media campaigns, or create maps for land claims. 

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PROS:

  • Built with principles of data sovereignty front of mind.
  • Works entirely offline, with the ability to synchronize to the web.
  • Able to use custom maps which work offline (for both Desktop and Mobile).
  • Possible to translate the entire application interface to any language.
  • Decentralized, peer-to-peer data storage (no centralized servers).
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Not good for complicated (nested) surveys for data collection.
  • Currently, requires some coding to set up custom configurations and offline basemaps.
  • The current version of Mapeo does not have support for tracks, audio, or video capture, although those are all in the roadmap and in the case of tracks, actively being worked on.
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Mukurtu

Mukurtu is a free, mobile, and open source platform built with Indigenous communities to manage and share digital cultural heritage. Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is a grassroots project aiming to empower communities to manage, share, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. It is an archives content management system built on top of the Drupal platform, with core features tailored to the needs of Indigenous communities. These include support for traditional knowledge (TK) labels, cultural protocols that allow for fine-grained levels of access depending on community needs and values, community records for artifacts that allow for multiple stories and narratives, Indigenous language dictionaries, and easy importing and exporting to ensure that the integrity of the data is maintained. There is a Mukurtu Mobile application which enables users to easily add content on the go to their Mukurtu CMS site. The Mukurtu team commits to maintaining an open, community-driven approach to Mukurtu’s continued development, and their stated first priority is to help build a platform that fosters relationships of respect and trust.

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PROS:

  • Mukurtu allows very flexible customization support for community taxonomies and ways of understanding cultural heritage.
  • The Mukurtu CMS is free to use and set up yourself. There are also hosting services available that come recommended by the Mukurtu team.
  • There is a training and support portal available, and the Mukurtu team provides basic training through web conferencing, a phone call, or email.
  • Mukurtu Mobile application is easy to use and works in both Android and Apple (iPhone).
  • It is possible to translate your Mukurtu CMS into any language (although the administrative interface cannot be translated.)
  • Mukurtu is being actively maintained and developed.
  • On the Mukurtu website, there is a useful showcase of community websites.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Mukurtu can run in an offline setup, but it was developed to run as an online server so it may require a technical IT person to help you run it offline.
  • As a content management system, Mukurtu / Drupal has a higher learning curve and it may require quite some training to learn how the application works.
  • As an extension of Drupal, Mukurtu requires a lot of server bandwidth to run and may perform slowly on resource-scarce servers.
  • As of now, limited support for customizing the Mukurtu maps.
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OpenDataKit / KoboToolbox

OpenDataKit (ODK) and KoboToolbox are open-source applications for collecting, managing, and using data in resource-constrained environments. The tools allow for offline data collection with mobile devices in remote areas, using customized forms that users can design to meet their needs. The submission of the data to an aggregate server can be performed, when Internet connectivity is available, and data can be downloaded from the aggregate server and further processed (for example, in GIS software). Forms can be translated into multiple language, and designed to be quite complex with nested (follow-up) questions. You can record GPS location as well as capture photos, audio, and video in the forms. There are form builders available with a user interface that enables you to lay out forms without having to do any coding. Both ODK and KoboToolbox use the same data collection form template called XLSform, and forms created in one application can work in the other. The difference between the two tools is that KoboToolbox was designed to be suited for humanitarian emergencies and other challenging field environments, and provides some analysis and visualization tools for these purposes. Many earth defender communities have used both tools across the globe extensively for mapping and monitoring purposes, though frequently in collaboration with an NGO ally or technical expert who can download and process the data for the community. 

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PROS:

  • Very customizable form design allows for many possible use cases.
  • Form builders enabling custom designing forms without having to touch any code.
  • The forms can be translated into any language; the form designer provides the text.
  • The Google Earth Outreach team supports ODK and is open to inquiries from communities about using this tool, especially in tandem with Google Earth tools.
  • There is an extensive community of users and developers that can help answer questions.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • In most cases, the applications rely on an online aggregate server, so it may result in long delays before data is accessible. (Portable OpenStreetMap, also included in this guide, includes an offline aggregation server.)
  • Data processing once downloaded requires technical knowledge to explore and render in a legible way.
  • There is no peer-to-peer syncing locally so it’s not possible to view all data collected by multiple devices.
  • With low latency internet access, form submissions time out frequently.
  • Some communities have experienced data corruption on the aggregate servers.
  • The map view is not customizable.
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OpenDroneMap

OpenDroneMap (ODM) is an open-source toolkit used to process aerial imagery captured by drones into maps and 3D models. Since ODM was created in 2014, it has become the go-to software for open-source drone imagery processing. There are a number of tools in the ODM toolkit including command-line code which can run on your local machine, as well as a user-friendly web-based application that can also run offline on your local machine, called WebODM. You can use ODM to process drone imagery to make digital elevation models, analyze plant and forest vegetation, export images in a JPG or TIFF format, make 3D maps, among many other things. ODM has an active forum where users can ask questions to the community and software maintainers. Nevertheless, processing drone imagery is very difficult and technically demanding no matter the software, and you may need some technical assistance to use this software. Earth defender communities have used drones to monitor changes taking place in their lands, especially in forest regions where it may be hard to find satellite imagery due to frequent cloud cover.

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PROS:

  • All ODM tools can run offline and on any operating system (macOS, Windows, Linux)
  • The WebODM software has a user interface which makes it easier to use and understand what you are doing.
  • Drone imagery can yield a very high resolution making it very easy to identify landscape features and land use changes, when the imagery has been processed.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • High learning curve to use the software.
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PIX4D

PIX4DMapper is a commercial app that will create a high-resolution map or 3D model from drone photos. You can use the free PIX4Dcapture mobile app to plan a drone flight and take multiple photos in a grid over the area you wish to map. You can process these images with PIX4Dmapper and it will create an orthophoto (an orthophoto is like satellite imagery — a high resolution geo-referenced photograph of the ground, created by merging multiple images from a drone) and a 3D model that shows hills, trees and buildings in the area mapped.

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PROS:

  • Easier to use than some other done image processing software
  • Results are very high quality
  • Works mainly offline (see caveat below)

CONS:

  • Expensive: Education version is $1,990 and the main version is $4,990
  • Will work offline, but after 30 days needs internet access to re-activate the license
  • Requires a powerful computer with lots of memory
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Portable OpenStreetMap

Portable OpenStreetMap or "POSM" is a project that brings together a handful of mapping tools onto a portable device which works without an internet connection. While the name suggests that the focus is on OpenStreetMap (OSM), it comes bundled with a number of other tools which normally rely on online servers or extensive local set up; these include several tools on this guide, such as Field Papers, a specific version of OpenDataKit called OpenMapKit, and OpenDroneMap. POSM was developed to support humanitarian field mapping workflows where there is no reliable network or basecamp where data synchronization could take place, hence the need to have an offline workflow and software being important. POSM enables people to bring OSM data and the mapping tools into the field on very small servers that host their own wireless local area network, allowing data processing to occur without any access to the Internet at all. POSM devices are small form-factor PCs running Linux, built from components that can be purchased for about $300. They are sufficiently lean enough to be powered by commonly available sources, such as motorcycle batteries. POSM is being developed by the American Red Cross and there is a community of users including the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap and Missing Maps organizations.

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PROS:

  • POSM provides a practical hardware guide and a one-step installation process via a USB stick to set up the hardware.
  • The hardware for running POSM is not very expensive (~$300)
  • Many useful tools such as OpenDataKit and Field Papers can be used entirely offline (i.e. without a web-based aggregation server) using POSM.
  • It may be useful to have access to OpenStreetMap data offline for exploration and mapping purposes.
  • It is possible to bundle other useful apps on POSM such as QGIS.
  • The codebase for POSM is frequently updated.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • The POSM documentation is not very well developed.
  • The tools on POSM are attuned to a humanitarian mapping workflow using OSM, and it may take some work to adapt aspects of the distribution to custom needs.
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QGIS

QGIS is a free and open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system (GIS) application that supports viewing, editing, and analysis of geospatial data. It is the most powerful and commonly used GIS software that is open-source and free to use. QGIS provides much of the same core functionality as Esri's ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro software, including processing analyzing raster and vector layers, georeferencing images, analyzing satellite imagery, and designing cartographic maps. It is however not as easy to use as Esri's tools, lacks some of the more advanced mapping functionalities, and has only limited support for web mapping. Many earth defender communities use QGIS in tandem with data collection tools such as Mapeo, OpenDataKit, Sapelli, GPS handheld units, and others; once data has been collected and minimally processed within those applications, it is exported to QGIS for more sophisticated data organization, analysis, exporting, and cartography. QGIS has a wide community of users globally, and there are both forums to ask questions and numerous tutorials for using QGIS.

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PROS:

  • QGIS runs in Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
  • QGIS is known for its speed, and shorter processing time compared to other GIS software.
  • There are numerous open-source plugins created by the QGIS community.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • High learning curve as with other advanced GIS software.
  • User interface is not as nice as Esri’s ArcGIS Pro.
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Sapelli

The Sapelli Collector software aims to enable people with no or limited literacy – in the strict and broader technological sense – to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, and analyse (spatial) data. Sapelli is used in a variety of projects related to environmental monitoring. It enables communities, regardless of social and geographical background, to map their environment and any threats it faces. The Sapelli Collector application can be used to create forms that use a visual language that enables a user to collect data or monitor threats without needing to read any text. The reports may be sent via SMS, WiFi, or data to a server called GeoKey which has a special data structure and user rights management attuned to community needs. Sapelli has been used by forest communities in Africa to report on illegal wildlife crime. The Sapelli Collector software was developed by the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group at University College London.

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PROS:

  • Using Sapelli does not require reading any text.
  • It’s possible to explore data that has already been connected on the device.
  • You can use Sapelli to record GPS data, take a photo, and record audio/video.
  • The Sapelli form design has some advanced features like decision trees and form loops.
  • Devices can send data to each other using SMS.
  • Data can be exported as XML or CSV, and exported on a local computer or the device itself.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Reliance on a web server (GeoKey) to access data analysis & visualization.
  • Creating a Sapelli form requires manually editing an XML file.
  • Sapelli only works in Android smartphones.
  • Sapelli is dependent on academic research funding cycles and the codebase is not updated on a regular basis.
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Terrastories

Terrastories is a web application for communities to map, protect, and share stories about their land. It can be used by individuals or communities who want to connect audio or video content to places on a map. It is designed to be user-friendly and fun to interact with, allowing community members to freely explore without needing any technical background. Terrastories began when a team of geographers and software developers decided to start building Terrastories to help a community in South America map their place-based oral histories. The Matawai Maroons of Suriname, a community of formerly enslaved Africans who fled into the forests over three centuries ago and reside there today, wanted to map oral histories about when their ancestors first arrived in these lands. The community leaders were interested in having a tool that helps the young people get to know these places, their history, their culture, and who they are as a people. Terrastories was built to accommodate that need, which the team also heard about from other communities across the globe.

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PROS:

  • Built with principles of data sovereignty front of mind.
  • Easy to use interface, designed to be engaging and fun to play with.
  • Works entirely offline or online.
  • Possible to set up multiple communities on one Terrastories server.
  • Able to use custom maps.
  • Terrastories content can be restricted, so that data can only be accessed by authorized users.
  • Possible to translate the entire application interface to any language.
  • The software is free and open-source.

CONS:

  • Currently, requires following a number of steps in the documentation to install.
  • Reliance on a centralized database.
  • Tricky to synchronize data between different Terrastories instances (offline or online).
  • Can’t be installed directly on a smartphone.
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TIMBY

TIMBY (This Is My BackYard) is a digital suite of tools for reporting and monitoring built for citizen journalists and activists. TIMBY consists of three intercompatible tools: a reporting app, an investigation dashboard, and a storytelling tool. Users can utilize the encrypted reporting app to create reports, which can be synced with the dashboard for further aggregation with other reports, analysis, and data visualization. They can also use the storytelling tool to turn field reports into a published narrative for advocacy or citizen journalism purposes. TIMBY has been used extensively in Africa and Southeast Asia, particularly by civil society organizations but also some Indigenous groups. The TIMBY team has project managers and access to lawyers and journalists for communities that may need additional support.

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PROS:

  • The TIMBY reporting app has an intentionally innocuous design to avoid suspicion in case somebody gets access to your phone.
  • When devices have WiFi or data access, TIMBY reports will sync automatically.
  • In case of slow internet, it is possible to export reports via encrypted ZIP files to upload later.
  • Storytelling application is based on WordPress, a commonly used content management system with a user-friendly interface.
  • TIMBY can be translated to any language, with support of the TIMBY team. It is currently available in over ten languages.
  • Offline hosting of TIMBY platforms, or hosting via a mesh network, is possible.

CONS:

  • Unless an offline server is set up, the TIMBY dashboard and storytelling tools are generally reliant on internet access.
  • TIMBY does not appear to be free to use, but the team is open to working with and supporting local communities.
  • TIMBY is not open-source.
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Ushahidi

Ushahidi is an open source software application which utilises user-generated reports to collate and map data. It uses the concept of crowdsourcing serving as an initial model for what has been coined as "activist mapping" - the combination of social activism, citizen journalism and geographic information. Ushahidi allows local observers to submit reports using their mobile phones or the Internet, creating an archive of events with geographic and time-date information. The Ushahidi platform is often used for crisis response, human rights reporting, and election monitoring.] Ushahidi (Swahili for "testimony", closely related to shahidi which means "witness") was created in the aftermath of Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election that collected eyewitness reports of violence reported by email and text message and placed them on a Google Maps map. The application Ushahidi is being maintained by a global not-for-profit technology company with the same name, whose mission is to develop integrated tools and services to enable people to generate solutions and mobilize communities for good. 

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PROS:

  • Ushahidi is a bespoke tool for crowdsourcing information from many people in an easy way.
  • Reports can be submitted via SMS, email and the Ushahidi web app.
  • The Ushaidi web app works in both Android and iOS.
  • Data can be uploaded or exported via a CSV file.
  • People can sign up for SMS and email alerts to get immediate news about their area.
  • The Ushahidi code is open-source so the application can be hosted on your own server.

CONS:

  • Using Ushahidi is not free. There is a Basic plan (offering one “Deployment”) which is free for six months, after which it will cost $50/month. However, small non profits and grassroots organization with a yearly operating budget of less than $250k can apply for a free Basic plan.

Reconnaissance: La trousse à outils Earth Defenders est construite, consultée, et co-créée en solidarité avec les communautés autochtones et marginalisées de L'Amérique latine, l'Asie et l'Afrique Subsaharienne, et ce à chaque étape du processus. Nous sommes profondément reconnaissants envers nos partenaires qui travaillent pour réaliser un changement transformateur et nous aident à comprendre comment nous pouvons mieux répondre à leurs besoins..