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MedMIS: Invasive Species

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System for monitoring invasive species in the Mediterranean for IUCN.


MedMIS is an online information system to track invasive species in the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas consisting of a mobile app and web platform that has been developed for IUCN.

One of the curiosities of this project is that MedMIS, in addition to the monitoring platform, it can be used as a guide of marine invasive species in the Mediterranean, providing more than 50 notes identifying them.

It also includes a system of participation; so, scientists and citizens can upload information to the platform on sightings of invasive species and participate in forums species identification.

The Challenge:

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was looking for the development of an information system and a mobile application based on a guide on invasive species that the agency had developed which contained very useful information about the impact of the same in the Mediterranean.

Geographica had already developed other projects related to IUCN monitoring and data visualization. However, this project was a challenge, developing a participation platform for the interaction of scientists and citizens among themselves and with the platform and the inclusion of GIS technologies for geolocation sightings of invasive species.

The Solution

Geographica proposed the development of MedMIS, a tool that, as IUCN requested, allowed the organization, management and visualization of marine sightings. A solution combining a portal and a mobile application.

In addition, MedMIS has different access to information on the one hand is the public profile and another private. So were two functions, firstly it gave information to citizens interested in marine species and on the other, the private profile, allowing better management of information, while it expedites and dynamizes the working way.

The advantages of MedMIS can be summarized in three blocks:

Generates knowledge: integrating and organizing large amounts of information, which is presented in dashboard, easy to understand. So, thanks to data processing and GIS technologies, decision-making is improved.

Project the Information: All information collected is represented spatially on maps, allowing data have pinpointed sightings. So you can easily identify patterns and trends.

It involves both the scientific community as well as citizens: Thanks to the functionality that has the app to upload photos of sightings and subsequently both citizens and scientists to discuss the identification of the species through the forums. So, this promotes the participation and development of a collaborative and open environment.

Technologically, MedMIS works thanks to a set of technologies, with the notable exception of Google Maps, an open source. The base system is, as usual in projects Geographica, spatial database PostgreSQL / PostGIS. This system not only stores application data but it is responsible for exploring data from a spatial perspective. On the database it has implemented an API REST, written in Python Flask as mobile applications and web engine. In the user front-end it has used Google Maps, although not open source software, to have your aerial photography and mapping a familiar interface for non specialists could upload their information with convenience.

Also note that MedMIS is an EASIN “Data Partner”, the European knowledge base on invasive species, thus contributing to the data collected by the network of European centralized information on this subject.

The Results:

This is a completed project; it is having very positive impact. IUCN has seen how through the development of this online tool has increased participation and decisions can be made much more efficient thanks to the visualization and the centralized management of the information.

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