Ireland is suffering from a biodiversity crisis, with plant and animal species of becoming endangered or extinct at an alarming rate. According to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, communities There are over 1,500 registered community groups in Ireland, many of which are already working hard to tackle biodiversity loss at a local level. However, many of these community groups struggle with effective communication as there are no apps or software of this kind designed specifically for them.
Build-a-Biome is a prototype of an app designed for community groups. The prototype uses GPS location to identify native plant species suited to that area and through the augmented reality feature, users can place 3D rendered plant objects into their green space. When choosing plants to place in their chosen space, users will have access to information about each plant in order to have the best chance of making their virtual space into a real-life biodiversity hotspot. The prototype also provides users with project management tools specifically designed for community groups to facilitate effective communication within and between groups. These tools include a map displaying all registered groups for users to join, project creation and task allocation for group organisation and communication, a noticeboard for local inter-group communication and the ability to create QR codes to advertise projects and recruit new volunteers.