Helping the planet with data

Case study

California-based Omdena is a platform where the global AI community collaborates to find innovative and ethical solutions to real-world issues.

Organizations submit requests to the platform and Omdena鈥檚 experts use cutting-edge AI to solve the problem efficiently and creatively. Some of the many projects successfully completed by Omdena include efforts to combat malaria, prevent online violence towards children, increase solar energy adoption, and fight illegal dumping.

Challenge

The World Resources Institute contacted Omdena with a problem: how can nature-based solutions be leveraged to address and minimize the impact of climate change. Omdena determined that it could identify opportunities for financial incentives to encourage forest and landscape restoration in Latin America (specifically Mexico, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, and El Salvador). By mining policy documents in these countries, Omdena perceived that they could help promote knowledge sharing and cooperation between stakeholders and quickly see where policies were acting as disincentives.

However, before Omdena could analyze the policy documents, it needed to gather them. It quickly became obvious that it would be impossible to manually collect all relevant policy documents from the more than 108 states and regions of the countries to be analyzed. While Omdena could have eventually built an in-house solution to get the data they wanted, they began to look for existing tools and discovered Apify.

Solution

Apify鈥檚 Google Search Results Scraper was ideal for the task. Once we knew what Omdena wanted to use it for, we decided to allow them free use of the platform and access to our support team. Omdena鈥檚 team used our readymade tools to come up with a solution that was able to scrape and to ultimately download all the hundreds of thousands of files they needed in less than a single day.

If you鈥檙e interested in reading more about the details of how Omdena used the Apify platform, you can check out their blog post about the project.

Benefits

Omdena would not have had the time or resources needed to create their own solution. Using Apify allowed them to get the task done at scale and at a reasonable cost. Even better, the solution is completely replicable for future projects.

The World Resources Institute asked Omdena to help identify economic and financial incentives for forest and landscape restoration in Latin America. One of the tasks was to get 1000s of PDFs from over 100 government websites. The Omdena team solved the problem by using Apify to scrape Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and was able to download the entire 740,000 files in less than 14 hours.

Leo Sanchez

Head of Tech Partnerships at Omdena

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