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January 1, 2030

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Our goal is to work with Internet users like you to accurately map African farmland.

Fields
African farmer
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B

N

OUR GOAL

Mapping outside field example
Africa map

search for HITs

containing the words "Mapping Africa"

Here’s the issue:

our understanding of where people are farming is limited.

We have a pretty good idea of farmland distribution in Europe and North America, but we have a lot to learn about other parts of the world.

Of particular note is Africa, which is predicted to experience an explosion in agriculture in the coming decades.

The best data that we have so far are not incredibly accurate.

They are prone to overestimating and underestimating farmland in various locations.

Due to the wide range of error and the unreliability of the data, it can be difficult to understand key issues such as food security, or to predict where agricultural expansion will happen.

As a result, we have launched this mapping initiative to get a better idea of where and how much farmland there is in Africa.

We are trying to map African farmland using the power of the Internet.

YOUR PART

This is where you come in.

In order for our project to be a success,  we need you.

Although there are computer algorithms to map these fields, they aren’t as good

as the human eye.

To help us, please visit

Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk service

and register for an account.

Once your account

has been registered by Amazon,

log on to Mechanical Turk

You are ready to start mapping

The process works like this:

Choose to view and accept HITs from the requester “Mapping Africa”.

Identify crop fields falling totally or partially

within the white box in the center of the satellite image.

Fields usually have a semi-regular shape that is distinct from their surroundings,

Fields often have traces of parallel lines (because of ploughing) inside their boundaries.

If there are any, mark each field  by drawing a polygon along its boundaries.

If the field falls partly outside of the box, please also map the part that is outside.

Repeat this procedure for all fields within the box.

Submit the HIT.

Start another one

We will pay you for each HIT, assuming that your quality score receives at least 60 out of 100 possible points.

 How do we determine your quality score ?

Well, every once in a while we sneak in a HIT we have already mapped, which allows us to measure how well your map aligns with ours.

We assess your work's quality according to two components:

Your quality score

How closely your field boundaries align with our field boundaries

How close the number of fields you map is to the number that we map

So the process and scoring is fairly simple.

However, interpreting what is and isn’t a field can take some practice,  and we are also only interested in certain types of fields.

To learn more about these skills and exactly what type of fields we are after, please read the mapping rules we have provided.

MAPPING RULES

WHO WE ARE

Mapping Africa was developed at Princeton University with support from IIASA, NASA and NSF

Lyndon Estes

Lyndon Estes

Associate Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School

  lestes@princeton.edu

lyndonestes.princeton.edu

Dennis McRitchie

Research Computing Senior Software and Programming Analyst,

Academic Services, Office of Information Technology.

  dmcr@princeton.edu

Dennis McRitchie
Kelly Caylor

Kelly Caylor

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

William Guthe

Research Computing Geographic Information Systems Analyst,

Academic Services, Office of Information Technology.

Lecturer in Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School.

William Guthe

"We are always looking for collaborators, particularly in Africa, to help us achieve our goal.

We particularly need:

- GPS collect field boundary data (to help with accuracy assessment)

- People to get out the word.

If you're interested please email us at:

afrfarm@princeton.edu

CONTRIBUTORS

Stephanie Debats

Drew Gower

Ecohydrology Research Group

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Princeton University

Jonathan Choi

Undergraduate student, Class of 2015

Jonathan Choi
Réka Zempléni

Réka Zempléni

Undergraduate student, Class of 2016

Gabrielle Ragazzo

Undergraduate student, Class of 2015

Gabrielle Ragazzo
Stephanie Debats

Stephanie Debats

PhD Candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering

facebook

Mechanical Turk

Methods behind the project (PDF)

Mapping Africa was developed at Princeton University with support from IIASA, NASA and NSF

website by: bkdf.nyc

Fields
African farmer
Africa map
lines
Mapping outside field example
Lyndon Estes
Dennis McRitchie
Kelly Caylor
William Guthe
Stephanie Debats
Réka Zempléni
Gabrielle Ragazzo
Stephanie Debats
Fields
African farmer
lines
Mapping outside field example
Africa map
Lyndon Estes
Dennis McRitchie
Kelly Caylor
William Guthe
Stephanie Debats
Jonathan Choi
Réka Zempléni
Gabrielle Ragazzo
Stephanie Debats
Fields
web icon
Yellow icon
attention icon
Yellow icon
align icon
check icon
check icon

Here’s the issue:

our understanding of where people

are farming is limited.

We have a pretty good idea of farmland distribution in Europe and North America, but we have a lot to learn about other parts of the world.

Of particular note is Africa, which is predicted to experience an explosion in agriculture in the coming decades.

The best data that we have so far are not incredibly accurate.

They are prone to overestimating and underestimating farmland in various locations.

Due to the wide range of error and the unreliability of the data, it can be difficult to understand key issues such as food security, or to predict where agricultural expansion will happen.

As a result, we have launched this mapping initiative to get a better idea of where and how much farmland there is in Africa.

OUR GOAL

B

N

How closely your field boundaries align with our field boundaries

How close the number of fields you map is to the number that we map

We are trying to map Sub-Saharan Africa using the power of the Internet.

YOUR PART

This is where you come in.

In order for our project to be a success,  we need you.

Although there are computer algorithms to map these fields, they aren’t as good

as the human eye.

To help us, please visit

Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk service

and register for an account.

Once your account

has been registered by Amazon,

log on to Mechanical Turk

You are ready to start mapping

The process works like this:

search for HITs containing the words "Mapping Africa"

Choose to view and accept HITs from the requester “Mapping Africa”.

Identify crop fields falling totally or partially

within the white box in the center of the satellite image.

 

Fields usually have a semi-regular shape that is distinct from their surroundings,

Fields often have traces of parallel lines (because of ploughing) inside their boundaries.

If there are any, mark each field  by drawing a polygon along its boundaries.

If the field falls partly outside of the box, please also map the part that is outside.

Repeat this procedure for all fields within the box.

Submit the HIT. Start another one

We will pay you for each HIT, assuming that your quality score receives at least 60 out of 100 possible points.

How do we determine your quality score ?

Well, every once in a while we sneak in a HIT we have already mapped, which allows us to measure how well your map aligns with ours.

We assess your work's quality

according to two components:

Your quality score

So the process and scoring is fairly simple. However, interpreting what is and isn’t a field can take some practice, and we are also only interested in certain types of fields.

To learn more about these skills and exactly what type of fields we are after, please read the mapping rules we have provided.

African farmer
submit icon
humans icon
help us icon
check icon
eye icon
eye icon
repeat icon
question mark icon
assesment icon
alignment icon
cash icon
cash icon
draw icon
files icon
target icon
Lyndon Estes
Dennis McRitchie
Kelly Caylor
William Guthe
Stephanie Debats
Stephanie Debats
Jonathan Choi
Réka Zempléni
Gabrielle Ragazzo
Fields
Africa map
African farmer
Lyndon Estes
Dennis McRitchie
Kelly Caylor
William Guthe
Stephanie Debats
Stephanie Debats
Jonathan Choi
Réka Zempléni
Gabrielle Ragazzo