What is Geoinformatics?? According to Wikipedia, Geoinformatics is the science and the technology which develops and uses information science infrastructure to address the problems of Geography, Geosciences and related branches of engineering. It includes all the fascinating things which you can think of like map which is the most used things in one form or other by humans since stone age, analyses on human-computer interaction with both wired and wireless networking technologies, urban sustainability planning, augmented reality and satellite systems and its data, space exploration and web mapping like google map, google earth etc.
So then why Gamification is required to develop it? First let’s see what is gamification, It is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self-contributions. We loved games due to these game mechanics only.
I think you may be played Ingress, the most famous game created by tech giant Google. If you do not know then Ingress is an augmented reality massively multiplayer online role-playing GPS-dependent game. It uses GPS coordinate to mark the location of various targets on phone map. To play with this, we have to be physically near targets on the map to interact with them. Google chooses these target so as to use all of this GPS data to improve Google Maps functionality for pedestrians. Moreover, you will give Google publicly accessible path which is not possible by satellite images. Check out this link to download it.
NASA is also using success of Gamification, and working to use it in getting data of clouds from user by an app and then integrate it with satellite data to measure the amount of sunlight reflected back into space from the Earth and how much heat it emits. Here users take pictures of the sky, which are tagged by the phone’s GPS system, and then answer a number of questions about the clouds to determine what type they’re looking at. Check out this link to download it.
In both apps, users can earn points and level up by accurately detecting targets.
Next is Nike company which helps in urban planning by encouraging people to move more which is designed to inspire people to get off the Tube and explore the city above the ground. Thus reduces the crowd in the train. Here users track NikeFuel– a metric that measures athletic activity. All these can be seen on a map. Check out link to buy the band and for downloading the app.
Later Eon app as power saving experiment used the Gamification principle for sustainability. Here each person was given an app which connected to their homes and monitored their power usage. The data collected was then visualized in five different ways, one is map based. Here participants changed their habits and lowered their energy consumption by an average of 12%. check out the video below.
Next is global outbreak game app in which there is a 3D tactical view of the globe and we have to plan our strategy to kill the zombie all over the earth. Here points are shown as location-based leaderboard system using GPS. Check out this link to the download app.
Last is the technique to describe the destiny game using panoramic views like used in Google street view and WebGL which brings 3D graphics from positions on many planets in the universe. Check out link for the panoramic view and below the video for game trailer.
By all the above examples, we can say that Gamification helps the user to engage with the apps and thus have fun and also helps company in getting more data which can be used for various types of Geoinformatics analyses.
I hope you enjoyed my article. If you want to ask me about Geoinformatics or Gamification, then you are most welcome.