Short Story


Ideascale link

Problem statement :

Plastic pollution is a huge global problem but data is lacking. Littercoin can incentivise data collection while increasing Cardano adoption

Describe your solution to the problem rewards users with Littercoin by applying proof of work principles to citizen science for the first time.

Relevant experience

Started researching litter mapping in 2008. Worked as a divemaster in the tropics. Did x2 MSc on the methodology then taught myself how2code

Website/GitHub repository (not required)
Detailed plan (not required) – Fill in here any additional details

OpenLitterMap is an open source, interactive, and accessible database of the world’s litter and plastic pollution. Inspired by the open values and democratic research community at OpenStreetMap, the most comprehensive map of the world ever made by over 2-million volunteers, we apply the same principles of crowdsourcing and open data to pollution. After doing x2 Masters to develop the methodology we were actively looking for a reward to give people for doing the work. After being introduced to tokenisation and Ethereum in 2015, we decided to apply the proof of work principle to the production of geographic information for the first time and Littercoin was born.


This is an important innovation for 2 reasons


1. Although plastic pollution is a huge global problem, data is significantly lacking. Despite an estimated 900 tonnes of plastic going into the oceans every hour, and trillions of plastic-tripped cigarette butts poisoning nearly every inch of the planet, very little is known about the distribution or abundance of litter pollution. Recently, 100s of millions of people all around the world have been equipped with powerful devices that can collect data making our knowledge of global pollution ripe for disruption. However, societies capacity at producing huge global datasets remains significantly underdeveloped. With the right balance of data collection technologies and incentives, we can begin to empower many more people with the knowledge about how to use their device to crowdsource data on pollution and make producing huge global datasets on pollution the new normal.


2. Mass adoption for Cardano and crypto more generally has significant barriers to entry. Most people don’t want to part with cash or sign up to an exchange. Littercoin eliminates these barriers as users participate in the network by sharing data on pollution. By taking geotagged photos of trash, labelling them, and disposing of them, users earn Littercoin and can get started with Cardano without having to part with cash or sign up to an exchange. In fact, 1000s of people have already been “mining” Littercoin for the last 4 years on OpenLitterMap without knowing anything about blockchain technology or even creating a wallet. Litter is everywhere, and everyone knows what it is, which makes litter mapping the most accessible form of data collection the world has ever seen. We can bring many people into citizen science, and thus the cardano ecosystem, for the first time. We can also experiment with increasing retail adoption as part of our plan is to put Littercoin miners in touch with innovative zero-waste and circular economic startups and local businesses to tackle waste at source, improve local circular economic networks, and reward positive environmental activity.


However, although a lot of work as gone into OpenLitterMap, we need your help to bring it to the next stage. With this fund we need to hire developers to improve our app, and make it more fun, much easier, and more rewarding to use. In return, we can increase Cardano adoption and positive environmental branding by partnering with you to help generate the data needed to help clean the planet.


Budget = $50,000


1. Web developer to improve the web-app at

A lot of work has gone into the web-app but we need to hire an experienced Laravel + Vue developer to fix some bugs and introduce some new features. 3 months work at $4,000 / month = $12,000


2. Mobile developer to upgrade the react-native apps on Android and iOS

Several improvements such as gamification and real-time object detection need to be integrated into the mobile app which this fund can help with to improve the data collection experience. 3 months work at $4,000 month = $12,000


3. Computer vision expert
We are using our 155,000+ images to train the OpenLitterAI, a real-time object detection algorithm that will make collecting data on trash and mining Littercoin even more fun and accessible. 3 months at $4,000 month = $12,000


4. Smart Contract engineer
We will migrate Littercoin from Ethereum to Cardano, and automate the distribution of Littercoin to users who submit a Cardano wallet address to OpenLitterMap. 1-2 months = $1,000-$2,000


5. Graphic Designer
A graphic designer is needed to help improve our branding, help with app design, and create some seriously awesome designs that will make our gamification process unique and visually awesome. 2 months = $2,000.


6. Project Management (all of the above + oversight = me) = $5,000


7. Overhead / Misc. $5,000


Total = $50,000


Any questions, comments, or ideas, please ask!


All of our code and data is OPEN SOURCE.


For more information please review this peer reviewed paper


There are more videos on YouTube if you search for OpenLitterMap


Please download our app too and get started mining Littercoin before the difficulty increases!






Thank you!


Seán Lynch, founder and developer.

Requested funds in USD 50,000

Which of these definitions apply to you? Entrepreneur, Developer


Littercoin – Mass Adoption

Goal: $50,000.00
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OpenLitterMapJoin us and share data. OpenLitterMap has 2 repositories available. Follow their code on GitHub.

Icon Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards – Open Data on Plastic Pollution with Blockchain Rewards (Littercoin)OpenLitterMap rewards users with Littercoin for producing open data on litter. Open data on the geospatial characteristics of litter provide means of invoking and evaluating responses to plastic pollution. OpenLitterMap currently works as a web app on all devices with native mobile apps in development. The stack includes the integration of the Laravel PHP Framework on the backend; Vue for frontend reactivity; NativeScript-Vue for mobile apps; Bulma for CSS; Leaflet for web-mapping; Turf.js for geospatial analysis; the Ethereum Blockchain for tokenization; Stripe; ChartJS; AWS; and more. Anywhere from a single cigarette butt to the contents of an entire beach or street clean can be logged in a single geotagged photo. Alternatively, a simple index may be used if litter is incalculable. The open data includes an increasing 100+ pre-defined types of litter; 20+ corporate brands; verification status; coordinates; timestamp; phone model; the latest OpenStreetMap address at each location; and the litter presence as a Boolean. To date, 100% of all submitted data (~ 8200 photos, ~ 28,000 litter from over 150 contributors) has been manually verified which is being used to develop machine learning algorithms.

App Store

‎OpenLitterMap‎OpenLitterMap is an open source, interactive, and accessible database of the world’s litter and plastic pollution Just take a photo and tag it with our app. Our global map tells a very important story about litter as litter has become normal and invisible for many. Our data is also open and acces…

OpenLitterMap – Apps on Google PlayOpenLitterMap is an open source, interactive, and accessible database of the world’s litter and plastic pollution. Using our app is easy 1. Take a photo 2. Tag the litter 3. Upload it For many people, litter has become normal and invisible. Our litter maps tells a powerful story that reveals the invisible and communicates plastic pollution as a local problem. Our data is open and accessible. Anyone can download our data for free, and use it for any purpose, without permission. We empower you with the tools to create open and unrestricted location data on pollution. All around the world, 100s of millions of people have been equipped with powerful devices that can collect data. But societies ability at producing data remains significantly underdeveloped. We need your help. As you collect data, you can help your country compete at the #LitterWorldCup. We also introduced a new feature called Teams recently so you can record your impact as a group. By default, all users are anonymous. However, you can make your name or username public on the maps or leaderboards. Keep the global map open to see live updates of people uploading photos or creating at account. And stay tuned for lots of exciting updates! Follow us: @openlittermap


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