Data Platform for the Environmental Activism

Mapping the Environmental Conflicts and Relational Visualisation of the Responsible Actors, Impacts and Commodities

The Project

Blue Marble is a web-based participatory map platform that documents, archives and visualizes conflicts on environmental issues and tells stories of affected communities or regions.

Dams, mining, incineration plants, deforestation, fracking, water pollution caused by industry etc. have serious ecological and social impacts, against which affected communities worldwide try to protect themselves. However, projects with a extensive intervention in the ecosystem often remain hidden, the effects are not made public, or only partially, or the relationships to projects are concealed.

This platform would like to create transparency, inform, make connections visible, connect environmental movements working on related topics and finally tell stories and thus be heard.

The platform aims to be open to creative approaches for visualizing certain aspects beyond known journalistic means such as text and images and last but not least to make stories come alive.

Our main principles the data solidarity platform is based on are Transparency, Collaboration, Participation, Verification, Open source, Accessibility, Independency.

For developers

https://github.com/Birtakimseyler/ecomap

Technical concerns

The platform is a digital application with a technical infrastructure that allows data from participants to be stored and analyzed. The technical requirements of the platform are provided by open source software technologies. It is important for transparency that all platform codes are published as open source. It also makes it possible for the application to be developed by everyone. It provides a technical template for similar initiatives and encourages participation.

Data sets and taxonomy are determined in accordance with the needs in order to make meaningful results by analyzing the collected data. The filter provides the primary classification of environmental problems.

Participation

Participants can create content either directly through observation and recording or by compiling published resources. They can contribute to the content of a case by archiving a lot of different information such as spatial data, academic papers, legal documents, research reports, news, photos and videos.

In terms of the decision to publish an environmental problem case we take into consideration criteria such as the size of the problem, the scope, and the sources of accessible information. It is important for transparency and trust to explain in detail how a case is determined and to inform users about it.

An active email address is enough to become a member. Confidentiality of users are ensured in the protection of personal information and privacy.

It is important that all data entered into the system is always questionable and open to challenge. If there is false or incorrect information, it can be reported by the participants.

The information added by the participants is checked by the editors. Scope, context, priority is evaluated according to the criteria specified. Data standards and criteria are important topics and will be defined in detail. Detailed guides should be provided for the participants.

Verification, as an important part of the editorial process, is one of the most critical stages of participation. Any suspect or unconfirmed data will be scrupulously investigated. Cooperation with verification agencies specializing in the detection of false news, is particularly crucial.

Methodology

Environmental conflicts are an interconnection of relationships arising from the environmental impact of economic activities. Such disputes have been the subject of extensive research of social scientists. It has been evaluated from a very broad perspective. But when we look at the nature of all conflicts, we can talk about the existence of some basic components. First of all, the conflict involves actors with opposing arguments. One actor supports the case and the other disputes it. For example, a company or government agency supports a project that causes environmental damage due to certain economic benefits. The main motivation behind this support is in essence “commodity“. The opposing actor bases their arguments on ”impacts”; motivations that trigger the opposite actor are environmental, socio-economic or health effects. The presence of all these components together creates an environmental conflict.

These components are expected to exist in cases added to the platform. In other words, human-focused environmental problems are focused. Cases are determined according to the width of the domain, the importance of their health and social impacts and their relationship with climate justice, and they are evaluated according to all these criteria and take their place in the database.

Data Sources

The content on the platform was obtained using the following websites.

Imprint

Blue Marble Data Platform

Design and implementation
A. Erdem Şentürk

Contributors
Aline Sulz, Gizem Sunar, Aslı Odman, Cemil Aksu

Supervisor
Prof. Matthias Görlich, Peter Hermans

Advisory
Jacob Stoy, Sandra Méndez, Sanna Schiffler, Emanuel Mathias, Marion Kliesch

All information and data were created to the best of our knowledge, but no guarantee is given for their completeness and accuracy.

Privacy Policy

We do not track and record any visitor activity on the website.
More detailed explanation coming soon here.

CC Licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)