January 28, 2013

The Land Observatory will make publicly available a first version of the tool for the beginning of February.

After intensive development work, the developers behind the Land Observatory have scheduled the first release of a stable basic version of the tool. This version will not yet have all the capabilities as they were defined in the co-development workshops.

But the version will allow the use of the platform for basic functions related to data input, display of cases on maps, visualization of basic context layers, and review of versions of land deals. It will be available in English initially and we will be adding French and Spanish versions as translations are finalized.

With this version the partners will be able to input data in the database and start to get experience collecting and visualizing data.

The team will continue to work very intensively on the platform and new features will become available progressively.

The next planned milestones are:

  • March 11, 2013 - enhanced version 1: Will include a notification system (for the moderators); a document repository (to up-load additional information such as photos and reports) and will include some improvements on usability.
  • End of May, 2013 - enhanced version 2: The one that we will share as widely as possible, as it will have a friendly graphical user interface, and more advanced functionalities such as spatial data editing, summaries on filtered data, user & institution management, data export, webmapping and activity summaries.

A number of issues that were identified in the co-development workshops will have to be implemented at a later stage, for which no date has yet been defined. The next milestone will include further improvements on the previous elements and introduce links to social networks, documentation, and extended list of attributes.

In parallel, over the next months, ILC and CDE will support the introduction and testing of the tool in the five pilot countries, following a step by step approach according to the requirements by partners.

In addition to the five pilot countries, a pilot “theme” will be added to create a Rangelands Observatory, focusing on global rangelands.

The Land Observatory will be presented at the Land and Poverty Conference in Washington DC, held on April 8-11, 2013.

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