A watcher is a person who accepts to assess the status of vegetation at certain locations over the world, as requested by IBISA. This assessment can be done using multiple sources of information, the most important ones being freely available Earth Observation data (“satellite images”).
A watcher is not responsible alone in assessing the state of vegetation of a location. IBISA uses “crowd-watching” and merges the assessment of several independent watchers (typically 20 watchers) on the same location. The result of the merge, by virtue of the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, is better than a single isolated assessment.
IBISA has to face two main challenges: keep operating costs as low as possible and offer the biggest possible scalability. In order to meet those two objectives, IBISA cannot use ground truth or ground data to assess loss in the field, as do classical insurances. In respect to that, using crowd-watching is the most resilient,