A newly launched website from the UN Environment Programme is turning to crowdsourcing and wiki technology in an effort to improve protection of the natural world.
www.protectedplanet.net – helps people identify and visit little-known protected areas, and in doing so, hopefully generating revenue and improving knowledge and awareness about them.
The site uses existing web-based resources, including Google maps, Wikipedia and Panoramio in order to dish up maps complete with encyclopedia descriptions, and public photos taken from the areas. Species information comes from the less well-known Global Biodiversity Information Facility (Gbif).
Users to the site can search for sites close to their home, work, or even a holiday destination, and may find there are protected areas or national parks that do not usually feature in tourist guides.
The UNEP hopes that this easily available information will increase the number of people visiting sites including , generating revenue that can help with their upkeep. It will also allow first-time visitors to create Wikipedia entries on the areas, or post photos, that can attract others.
They are even using uservoice – a website which helps organisations to collect, collate and respond to user feedback, whilst also facilitating an environment where users can help each other.
From our initial exploration here at Traveller & Tourist Magazine, it looks like a weekend exploring the Kent Downs might be in order!
External link: http://www.protectedplanet.net