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People, Parks and Clouds: How Innovative Mobile and Web-Mapping

Technologies Are Empowering Local Communities and Transforming
Chimpanzee Conservation in Africa

• The 30-year mission focus of the Jane
Goodall Institute (JGI) is to protect with
partners 85% of chimpanzees and their
habitats in Africa.
• JGI is using innovative mobile and webmapping technologies to enable a diversity
of stakeholders to jointly manage
chimpanzee habitats across the entire
protected area network, from government
managed national parks to community
owned village and private forest reserves.
• To learn more see this video:

Open Data Kit (ODK)

Upload and store forms
Download and analyze data
Since 2009 JGI and partners have been
deploying ODK to improve protected area
management and empower local
communities to be better stewards of
ODK Aggregate or
their environment and custodians of
Google Maps Engine
ODK is a free and out-of-the-box solution
for users to build a data collection form
or survey, collect the data in the field on
an Android mobile device, smartphone or
tablet, aggregate the collected data on a
server, locally or in the cloud, and extract
it in useful formats for analysis and
Download forms
Send and store data

Empowering local communities to manage their protected areas

Explore the map in Tour Builder
Click here to see
Gombe in Street View

Kigalye Village Forest Monitor

Reforestation in Kigalye Village Forest Reserve



Village Forest Reserves

Illegal human activities
reported by
Village Forest Monitors

Villagers and Rangers: enabling joint monitoring

Budongo Forest
Reserve, Uganda

Illegal activities reported by:


Global Forest Watch (GFW) Mobile App

Enabling local users with limited and occasional
Internet connectivity to receive and ground-truth
deforestation alerts from GFW using Android mobile

From the ground to the cloud and back to decisions
Science & Technology Partners
(data analysis, models, tools …)

Field data collected by
communities and rangers

Google Earth Engine
Google Maps Engine
Esri ArcGIS Online ODK Collect server
Global Forest Watch

Click to explore the live map

Dashboards for decision-makers in low bandwidth environments to visualize crowdsourced data from mobile collections

An inspiring solution?
Innovative and effective
• The system uses innovative open source mobile apps such as Open Data Kit (ODK), Android
smartphones and tablets and Google cloud technologies to crowdsource field data collection.
Evidence of implementation and impact
• Since 2009 JGI's mobile platform has been successfully deployed in Tanzania and Uganda, and
has been recently introduced into the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of
Congo. In Tanzania, Village Forest Monitors from 52 communities outside Gombe National
Park and within larger Gombe-Masito-Ugalla ecosystem use this mobile platform to better
manage their Village Forest Reserves by monitoring illegal human activities, wildlife and
chimpanzees. In Uganda more than 1500 Private Forest Owners have mapped their
properties while National Forest Authority rangers and local communities use the platform to
jointly patrol Budongo and Kalinzu Forest Reserves.
Applied elsewhere or more broadly
• This is an open source, free, simple, and practical community mobile mapping and
monitoring platform that can be easily scaled up.

What makes it work?
Components that lead to success

• Partnerships between conservation NGOs, local and village governments
and private sector to match cutting edge technologies with local
conservation needs and realities on the ground.
• Long-term commitment to build local capacity.

Enabling factors

• Rapid developments in mobile, web-mapping and cloud technologies.