Client: Rabbit Management Advisory Group
Rabbits cause an estimated $600m loss to Australia’s agricultural industry every year. To mark the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the rabbit to Australia, the Rabbit Management Advisory Group (RMAG) issued a nation-wide challenge called ‘RabbitScan’ for graziers, communities, and schools to help scientists map rabbits and their impact on the environment.
The last national series of rabbit maps, completed in 2005, took two years to produce, relied on a varied and inconsistent data sources and required significant government funding. With RabbitScan, people were asked to survey their landscape (school, farm, parkland, roadside reserves, ovals etc) for signs of rabbits and damage, and to load their results into an online web application.
Spatial Vision was engaged to design, develop and host the RabbitScan website and mapping portal. The mapping portal provides registered users with a tool to record the details and location of each survey.
The RabbitScan project employed the idea of ‘citizen science’ capitalising on the enthusiasm of people to get involved in natural resource issues by collecting data required for scientists; in this case, used to generate a 2009 National Rabbit Map.
RabbitScan was launched in April 2009 and achieved tremendous publicity coverage in both the mainstream and regional media. The input of survey data commenced on 1st May and by September had collected over 3,000 surveys.
The data collected for this project provided a valuable resource for those addressing Australia’s rabbit problem. The project also provides an excellent case study for other projects that would benefit from a community-based approach, particularly where these communities are dispersed over large geographical areas. The RabbitScan project is reliant on community acceptance of web based technologies and its’ success is clearly demonstrated by the rapid take-up of the challenge leading to almost 3,000 registered users.
RabbitScan is underpinned by Web 2.0 technologies that enable collaboration and harness the enthusiasm of people to get involved in real issues.
- Demonstrate how on-line spatial technologies can be employed to engage local communities in natural resource management.
- Support the development of web-mapping interfaces for data input based around an innovative externally hosted and managed service.
- Create a model for other pest control challenges.
- Development of the RabbitScan website utilising Open Source Joomla! technology.
- A mapping application allowing registered users to input survey data and view rabbit locations via the internet. Survey locations may be based on GPS coordinates or by clicking on an on-screen map.
- Provision of hosting services and management of the mapping application and survey results database developed for the RabbitScan project.
- Integration of the mapping application with the RabbitScan website for easy access to students, teachers, and other community groups.
- Single user registration for both the main RabbitScan website and the mapping application
- Provision of download tools for the aggregate rabbit survey data
- ArcGIS Server Web AD Understanding of web technologies and application to communities
Gemma Bailey was the Project leader
Lindsay Smith built the Google Maps interface
Roger Heeps built the Joomla website.
- Joomla open source
- Google Maps