MapAction has created a successful business identifying environmental problems and their causes in its home city of Bamako, Mali. The firm built a smartphone app that enables citizens to report situations, such as polluted river water.
The West African firm uses Google Earth imagery and a drone to investigate each issue. Often the company finds a waste dump or agricultural activity upstream causing the pollution. MapAction has pinpointed many other threats to natural resources as well.
MapAction wishes to expand the speed, efficiency and geographic scope of its business beyond Mali, primarily with AI algorithms to identify land use/land cover features impacting local environments.
However, the Google Earth data lacks the timeliness and metadata information needed for effective analysis with Machine Learning. And the drone data, while accurate and timely, can’t be collected easily and affordably far from their HQ in Bamako.