The crowdsourcing using the smartphone application had achieved the broader geographic distribution of photos over time that was needed, and improved the reliability of the space-based observations. Since this use on 2011 this was a very first attempt, and since flooding is expected to occur every year to some degree, from now on one is more prepared and can use the technology both earlier and broader.
The success-story was announced by UNOSAT in their website and picked up by a large number of other media. Google offers more then 11000 hits for “UNOSAT Thailand Crowdsourcing”. UNOSAT also has the QR code for the app on their website, front page. In addition to the Android App, and iPhone version called “UN-ASIGN” has been released by AnsuR at the Apple App Store.
Also the Bangkok post had a large article, which also be found online here, titled “Android Lends a helping hand”.
The results offer an interesting idea for Oil & Gas, that AnsuR and Statoil currently are working on, namely environmental monitoring with the support of the same technology. Earth Observations play a major role on the Oil and Gas industry, and so does environment, and so does public concern. The concept being that the Oil & Gas industry welcomes public participation in identifying any environmental concerns and (also) complementing their use of satellite observations in this respect. Public data input could also be made available to the public, thus creating a transparency that in turn may enhance credibility of the conclusions.
The use of crowdsourcing for obtaining in-situ data for EO, whether it is for an immediate emergency, a more slowly evolving disaster as a flood or general environmental concern is but one set of ways for using the described approach here.
In addition to the crowdsourcing approach described about, the ASIGN technology is still used with professional in-situ validation photos, sent via smartphones, PC, satellite or 3G or other means. In this context the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles is interesting, and another topics for EO and Oil & Gas. AnsuR has a project with Statoil that targets the same environmental monitoring as mentioned above. In this context the crowdsourcing also complements the aerial observations.