UNOSAT is increasingly active in both crowdsourcing and geo-tagging. To expand its experience in the latter, UNOSAT is working in partnership with the Citizen Cyberscience Centre to test an experimental geo-tagging system called Gloe, developed by HP Labs, a sponsor of the CCC project. The intention is to verify the usability of Gloe in support of development work and humanitarian aid in the field. UNOSAT and the CCC partners are hoping to determine which applications are more suitable to collaborative mapping and crowdsourcing for thematic mapping, especially in Africa.

What is Gloe?

Gloe is an experiment to develop a cloud service designed to make it easy to discover and recommend local Web content on mobile devices. Gloe helps smart phone users discover useful web content related to geographic locations, using a map interface that is displayed on their phone. Users can also contribute further web information and their own notes on these locations to enrich the maps.

What makes Gloe different from other geo-tagging tools?

Voting system: Gloe allows users to vote on content, so they can contribute to a recommendation system. Limiting the number of votes available to a given user is a feature of Gloe that helps ensure the quality of the resulting recommendations. For more information on how this sort of "recommendation economy" works in practice, see this this article.

Social network filtering: A significant feature of Gloe is that it recommends information to users on the basis of social network context. For example, one can filter recommendations to get those from a specific group of users or according to another social or geographical category.

What is the scope of the current test?

The test is designed to use community feedback over the next six months to improve and adapt Gloe to the specific needs of the aid and development communities and organizations. As the test advances it is hoped that internet users can help place geographically web content relating to ongoing emergencies and humanitarian response operations. 

How may Gloe help in humanitarian crises?

Although developed for more social and leisure uses, Gloe may have the potential to generate additional important data by directly involving communities from vulnerable countries or during crisis situations. The built-in recommendation system of Gloe provides a means to improve the quality of the data --a known challenge with crowdsourcing in general and mapping in particular. Gloe may be used to geo-tag photos of human security events during active crises. Internet users may be of great help in georeferencing photos of a certain event that are disseminated on internet. These would help geospatial analysts produce more accurate situation maps.

How to get started?

We invite volunteers to test the Gloe application and provide feedback about its usability and about potential new uses.

To recommend web resources to specific locations, go to the website and install the Gloe bookmark button. Once installed on your browser you can recommend and geotag any web page by just "bookmarking" it using this button.

To discover the recommended resources around you via a mobile phone and vote, download the mobile application (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Palm WebOS). For more information, click here. Gloe is also fully accessible via a web interface, so remote users can read and contribute location-specific information and recommendations from a laptop or desktop computer. For more information click here .

To give your feedback please use the following link : Feedback.

To request more information and to discuss with the CCC Project about this test, please contact: project-citizencyberscience-coordinators<a> (Please replace <a> by @ in the email address).