EnvironmentalismLifestyle revolution

Open Litter Map a citizen science litter-mapping game to clean the planet & earn Littercoins

Easy, fun and rewarding: mine cryptocurrency every time you process litter data

Open Litter Map is an open source which collects geographic data on litter, brands, and plastic pollution. This technology empowers anyone to share litter information by using the platform, which can also be downloaded for free (as we all know how expensive plastic pollution researches can be!). But the most incredible part is that Open Litter Map rewards users with cryptocurrency tokens Littercoin for doing the work of mapping and producing open data to help us clean the planet.

We have the chance to interview Sean Lynch, an environmentalist and developer who is working to democratise the research of litter. He not only wants to empower people to create open data but also to see everyone compensated for doing so. Thanks to our new online communication tools and devices, we have an opportunity to mitigate these threats for future generations. Every day counts.
Learn more about the power of open data and how you can make a difference… we hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did!
Sean Lynch open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

Seán, what is your background and how did you end up developing this platform?

Hello! My name is Seán Lynch. I recently turned 30 and I am the proud developer of OpenLitterMap.com. I was born and raised on the outskirts of Cork City in Ireland. Cork is a lovely small city and I am lucky enough not to need a car to get around. Since I don’t drive, I have had a lot of time to look at the streets in detail. I walked and cycled to University every day where I studied Geography, which taught me about how to think about and investigate the relationships between cities and people, space and time, the environment… etc. After my first degree I went travelling by myself and after working in Australia I ended up training and working as a Scuba Divemaster in Koh Tao, Thailand. During this time I fell in love with the ocean and I came home motivated to protect our oceans for future generations. Since coming home I went on to achieve 2 Masters degrees. The first was in Geographical Information Science and the second in Coastal & Marine Environments. I wrote my final dissertation on an open source litter mapping methodology “Open Litter Map” in 2015. For about 3 years, I was also very lucky enough to participate with an EU Cooperation of Science and Technology group IC1203 The Vespucci Institute who explore and advance GIScience. Since then I have been teaching myself how to code and today, OpenLitterMap.com has been in production for just over 1 year!

What is your platform about?

OpenLitterMap is a Citizen Science litter-mapping game “Like Pokémon Go for Tidy towns” that empowers anyone to map and share geographic data on litter, brands, and plastic pollution. OpenLitterMap is not just a map, most importantly- the data is open, which means the data is available for anyone to download for free.
This means that anyone can download OpenLitterMap data, use it for any purpose, for free, all without restriction or permission. This includes commercial use. Instead of making research on plastic pollution expensive and prohibitive, open data makes doing research free. And compulsory.
OpenLitterMap even goes a step further than this and applies Bitcoin “proof of work” mining principles to Citizen Science for the first time. OpenLitterMap rewards users with cryptocurrency tokens Littercoin for doing the work of mapping and producing open data to help us clean the planet. As you take photos and process data, you are actually “mining” cryptocurrency which you can trade with anyone for goods and services. This offers businesses and governments an excellent opportunity to showcase themselves as supporters of environmental data collectors and finding ways to compete with each other for rewarding you for doing the work.
open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

Why have you seen an opportunity to create this platform and what is your mission?

Plastic pollution is one of the many impacts that humans are having on the environment. What is worrying is the rate at which these environmental problems are occurring and how slow we are to respond. Plastic was only introduced in the 1950s. By 1975 plastic was first recognised to have a global distribution in the marine environment and ever since then many millions of tonnes of plastic has been entering the oceans every year. We are the first generation with the tools to share information and communicate with each other to find solutions. Therefore the actions of this generation alive right now today are pivotal for what lies in store for future generations. Thanks to our new online communication tools and devices, we have an opportunity to mitigate these threats for future generations. Every day counts. By making litter data available as open data, anyone can participate in the research. This democratizes who can participate in the research which can lead to much more transparent results. Not only do I want to empower people to create open data, but I want to see them compensated for doing so. I believe that if Littercoin works as expected, it will incentivise the most rapid production of geospatial data the world has ever seen. We could probably get a good picture of many parts of the world’s litter in 15 minutes if people were paid to do it. This is now possible, thanks to blockchain technology.
open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

Every day counts. We are the first generation with the tools to share information & communicate with each other to find solutions. By making litter data available as open data, anyone can participate @OpenLitterMap… Click To Tweet

What particular data do you expect to collect with this platform?

You can see this for yourself by downloading some of the data!
To download all the data for a country, say Ireland, simply visit openlittermap.com/maps/Ireland/download – you don’t need to pay for it, ask for permission, or even sign up for an account! That is the power of open data.
But to answer your question OpenLitterMap collects latitude, longitude, phone model, timestamp, and the full OpenStreetMap address at the location of each photo. There are also over 100 types of litter to choose from spanning 10 categories (Smoking, Food, Alcohol, Coffee, etc) and over 20 corporate brands. Users can also collect the locations of gutters in the street with the Pathways category if they are unable to access the data from the city.

open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

How does the system work to make the litter traceable (put it in a map)?

First of all, OpenLitterMap is still in development and only works right now as a web-app available on all devices including mobile and laptop @ openlittermap.com – it is actually built mobile first so it is designed to work like an app. Mobile apps are in development.

To upload, users must enable location services and turn their GPS on. Images that are not geotagged cannot be submitted to OpenLitterMap. Instructions about how to turn GPS on are sent out in a welcome email when you sign up.

On iPhone open Settings – Privacy – Turn Location Services = On and Turn Camera = On, While Using.

On Android open the Camera – visit the settings inside the camera app – enable geotagging, then pull down the top menu and activate GPS.

Once you do this, all of your images should be geotagged and you can upload them to OpenLitterMap!
To sign up for an account, visit openlittermap.com/signup
When you log in, you will be redirected to openlittermap.com/submit where you can submit images. Simply click on the large white box to select your images, or drop them on the box to upload them.
After you upload images, visit openlittermap.com/profile to tag how much litter appears in each image and submit the data for verification.
OpenLitterMap will take the GPS from your image to make maps. We also find the address value of your GPS location on OpenStreetMap and we use these address values “Ireland”, “California”, etc, to populate the list of locations. So when you upload to OpenLitterMap, you will automatically create new locations in the database if you are the first to upload from that location. To incentivize early adoption, this process is redeemable in Littercoin. Users earn 100 Littercoin for creating a Country, 50 Littercoin for each State and 25 Littercoin for each City.
open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

Why should people use OpenLitterMap?

We need to stop plastic going into the ocean. Opening and sharing geographic data is the most realistic way of achieving that. It is much cheaper to stop plastic going into the ocean now than trying to take it out or deal with it later.
Plastic pollution entering the ocean is expected to get exponentially worse. By 2012, at least 8-12 million tonnes of plastic were entering the oceans every year and by 2025, this is expected to increase to about 70 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year if current trends continue.
Plastic pollution costs us trillions, from the impact it has on biodiversity and ecosystem services, to the millions that councils spend every year on litter picking and management (money that could be spent on something else than picking up after people)
To help us achieve that, OpenLitterMap makes sharing open data on litter, not just easy, but fun and rewarding.

open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

By 2012, at least 8-12 million tonnes of plastic were entering the oceans every year & by 2025, this is expected to increase to about 70 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year @OpenLitterMap #plasticpollution… Click To Tweet

How can people support your platform besides data?

If you like the work I am doing, please consider supporting me with a once off donation or sign up and support me with €5 a month? I have to do and pay for everything by myself. Any time someone clicks a link or uploads something it costs money and I am not able to do and pay for everything by myself forever. I am doing my best here but with some support, I could do a lot more! I use Stripe.com to manage donations and monthly subscriptions. If enough people help me I can hire another developer and really get this moving. I am also looking for grants but I haven’t got one yet. Do you want to live in a world where we are going to just get this done? Then please support and crowdfund me with 10c a day and together we will open data that will stop plastic going into the ocean.

open litter map tech cryptocurrency littercoins

Are there particular areas or places in the world that are especially active when it comes to picking up litter?

You can see for yourself, at openlittermap.com/maps ! That is the beauty of open data 🙂

If you could write a message on a big wall for the world to read, what would it say?

PLEASE STOP LITTERING    ><(((*>  ><(((*>

We can find you on Instagram and somewhere else, for people to connect with you and your platform?

Keep your eye on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @OpenLitterMap
Empower yourself with Citizen Science and create open data on plastic pollution anywhere openlittermap.com

Is there any other similar brand you know or are curious about? Comment below, and we will make it happen!

If you loved this content follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube channels.

Are you a good brand that would like to have the story featured on our positive news media platform to inspire more consumers to do the shift to a more sustainable lifestyle? Fill in this form NOW!

But if you love writing and you would like to be a change-maker for good, join our community of journalists and bloggers!

Tags

Ourgoodbrands

We write positive contents for good to raise awareness on more sustainable living options, taking the form of brands and products. If you are a brand needing a platform like this to get exposure, email us at hello@ourgoodbrands.com. We do writing, design, video production and more. The better you are the best you will become.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close