How to Use Sapelli: Participatory Mapping Software for Extreme Citizen Science

Person in forest looking at mobile deviceThe Sapelli project aims to enable people with no or limited literacy – in the strict and broader technological sense – to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, and analyse (spatial) data. There are two major strands to this work, both of which are covered in these tutorials: the use of the Sapelli software itself and the process that is followed to develop Sapelli projects within communities. Sapelli is open-source and is used in a variety of projects related to environmental monitoring. It enables communities, regardless of social and geographical background, to map their environment and any threats it faces.

These tutorials, presented through text and video instructions, provide a guide to using the Sapelli software and developing Free Prior and Informed consent protocols with communities. They navigate the user through the entire process of a Sapelli project including how to work with communities on planning a project; how to use that plan to design the data collection process using a computer or tablet; carrying out data collection via a phone app and then visualising the collected data using an app or computer. Solutions are presented throughout the tutorials for users who have limited or no internet connectivity. The tutorials are suitable for scientists and community stakeholders working together, as well as communities working independently.

View tutorials.