Protecting Watersheds Through an Innovative Learning App

Watershed protection is a complex challenge that needs a multi-sectorial approach. Innovative and interactive tools, such as the new World Bank Spatial Agent app, is one solution, according to Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, a Global Lead for Watersheds with the Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice.

Harshadeep, also the leader of the Spatial Agent app team, believes the app’s interactive maps and charts can help to us explore multi-sectoral synergies in a spatial development context. The data can promote collaborative efforts for sustainable and environmentally sound watershed management.

Spatial data can promote collaborative efforts for sustainable and environmentally sound watershed management.

The World Bank developed the Spatial Agent app to visualize available spatial and temporal development-related data on an interactive mobile platform. It pulls together thousands of types of data from more than 300 web services from major institutions—United Nations Organizations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), World Bank, universities, and many more.

Harshadeep says that it has long been a challenge to get partners on the same page for watershed protection and conceptualize issues from different points of view. The app provides a shared evidence base for planning and policy making. Joint products, such as this app, along with e-books and events, strengthen the capacity of partners and clients to address this issue.

The Open Learning Campus (OLC) offers a tutorial and webinar for how to collect and apply data in the Spatial Agent app. In the webinar, participants can explore how spatial information is useful in a watershed/basin context and apply the app. The OLC is exploring how it can use immersive tools, such as spatial data, to deepen user engagement and authenticity in our learning experiences.

The Spatial Agent app can be downloaded for free for iOS (such as for the iPhone or iPad) or Android (phones or tablets) platforms. The web version is being developed with the Bank’s Global Reach effort for launch later this year.

Related links

•  For any queries: spatialagent@worldbank.org
•  Spatial Agent App for iOS or Android
•  Open Learning Campus Tutorial for Spatial Agent
•  Open Learning Campus Webinar (also available in French, Spanish, and Russian)