Environment Forum

Maps, Online Communities and Games for the Environment

September 30, 2008

Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and will be a regular contributor. ReutersThomson is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.

Earlier this year, GV Environment listed the web2.0 tools for environment activism. Since then many more tools have been developed to help concerned citizens make decisions about their carbon footprint and engage with others using maps and games. This post will highlight some mashups, online communities, carbon footprint calculators and one online game.

Mashups

Rory of Carbon Smart Blog announced the Greening Africa Map by outlining the goal of the google map mashup and asking others to send in information about projects to be included.

My point is to highlight positive things that are being done in Africa. There are a lot of projects out there, but many are just not visible. The first projects on the map are mostly around Cape Town, just because I live here and have some firsthand knowledge of the area; but I don’t want this to be a South African map.

Greening Africa Map


View Larger Map

Clean Up The World is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme. It is a global campaign to clean, fix up and conserve the environment and they have created a mashup to show the communities involved around the world. The activities mapped relate to water, recycling, tree planting, education and climate change mitigation. To visit the site please click on the graphic below.

Online Communities

Connect2Earth features environment related photos, videos and posts that are submitted by the public. The entries will be voted on by other members and the highly ranked entrants receive mobile phones from Nokia (A sponsor of the site). The winning entries will be shown at the World Conservation congress in Barcelona. Topics discussed include Global warming, waste & pollution, sustainable transport, mobile life & work, natural habitat, wildlife and clean energy.

connect2earth is a space for you to tell the world why you care about our planet

350

350.org is an online community of activists working to raise awareness of the target for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.

350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.

But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

Carbon Footprint Calculators

Ecorio

Jaimi Heimbuch of Treehugger referred to Ecorio as a super cool app that will be available on the new Android powered G1 Google phone. Ecorio is a mobile application that runs in the background tracking trips. It adds up the miles and shows the carbon footprint and cost of offsetting it.

Dopplr – Carbon calculator for trips

Dopplr is a tool used by frequent flyers to share information about upcoming trips with friends and colleagues. The service shows coincidences and helps people connect. Dopplr added the ‘My carbon’ calculator that shows travelers their carbon footprint by utilizing data from AMEE, an organization better known as the ‘The world’s energy meter’.

Online Game

World without Oil
This is an alternate reality game that is interactive and whose outcome is crafted by the players and their interactions.

The premise of World Without Oil was simple and provocative: What if an oil crisis started on April 30, 2007 – what would happen? How would the lives of ordinary people change? Players were invited to imagine how their lives and communities would be different and how they would cope if the world’s oil suddenly dried up. The “plot” unfolded dynamically. First, the players read the “official news” and what other players were saying. Then, using a combination of blog posts, videos, images and even voice mails, they told their own stories of the challenges they were facing. As the crisis continued, players updated their stories with further thoughts, reactions and solutions.

Anthony Williams of Wikinomics wrote about the game, saying

There is no doubt that fighting climate change will require a massive worldwide effort that could dramatically alter much about the world as we know it today. We need more than just smart public policy. And we need more than a comprehensive retooling of industry and our infrastructure. We all need to give up our oil addictions and that, in turn, will require us to make some pretty profound changes in our daily lives. Alternate reality games like World Without Oil could play a vital role in engaging the public in making those vital changes.

Via Carbon Copy.

Comments
One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Hello… Interesting articles… Thank’s a lot

 

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