SeedMapper is a Chrome browser plugin that, each time you open a new tab, will pick a random entry from the Seed Vault’s database and generate satellite imagery from the location from which it was harvested.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault stores seed samples from all over the world.
When seeds are harvested they are typically brought to a local genebank and some are further shipped to Svalbard for extra safekeeping.
This experiment tries to connect the samples stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with their place of origin, and to show the relationship between Svalbard and the wider world.
Using data from Genesys, a gateway from which germplasm accessions from genebanks around the world can be easily found and ordered, we were able to access geolocation data about samples stored in the Svalbard Seed Vault.
Every time you open a new tab, SeedMapper will select a random accession from the database.
We then used the geolocation data with Google Maps in order to produce satellite imagery of the location from which the sample was harvested.
We also calculate the distance from the location to Svalbard, and highlight when the sample was harvested.
SeedMapper enables us to travel to strange, distant and often forgotten corners of the world, emphasising their beauty and frailness.
SeedMapper, furthermore, draws attention to how food safety and upholding a healthy biodiversity is both a global and local collaborative effort that needs to happen over decades and centuries.
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SeedMapper web extension integrated with the OffiDocs Chromium online