Future of NatureMapr survey results and update

Posted by AaronClausen

 15 Apr 2024

Hi everyone,

A huge thanks to those who completed the Future of NatureMapr survey recently, we appreciate the time and effort you invested to let us know what you think.

We received about 400 survey responses from local citizens, landcarers, land managers, expert moderators, ecological consultants, schools teachers and government officers of all levels.

Thank you to Liesl Codrington from Vaere Social for her efforts in helping us pull together the survey at short notice and to collate and analyse the results.

The results were overwhelmingly clear and consistent.

Trusted, high quality information and ease of use

You told us that you use NatureMapr because you trust the quality and accuracy of the information produced and that it is easy to use. Easy to use does not mean absolutely perfect in every way, but we actively listen to the feedback from our user community and we act on it. This process never ends as we continuously seek to improve and refine the platform.

The variety of ways you use NatureMapr were just astounding.

NatureMapr is part of the curriculum in several schools and educational institutions, it is being used to monitor seasonal and climatic changes in priority species, it is relied upon by park rangers and environmental officials across an expanding number of regions among many other uses.

The vast majority of the current features and capabilities that you see within the platform are the direct result of a good idea that somebody once had within the user community.

We are not locked in stone and the community continue to find powerful new ways to utilise the platform and continue to let us know what is important to them, which ultimately steers what we do next.

You overwhelmingly voiced the need for NatureMapr to move to a sustainable mixed revenue model. And we couldn't agree more.

You expressed some frustration and hope for increased government funding, but you also recognised that NatureMapr would need to establish other non-government funding streams in order to succeed over the long term.

We acknowledge the continued support that the ACT Government have provided NatureMapr since the early days, helping to incubate us while we develop the platform and seek to establish a more diverse and sustainable revenue model. It takes significant leadership for a single government agency to put their hand up to be the sole lead agency onboard with any new technology innovation or startup concept.

You felt the benefits in NatureMapr remaining independent were numerous and that consideration of a potential handover of the system to ACT Government wasn't preferred. Government also generally preferred NatureMapr to remain independent as we provide excellent value for money and important tools for governments to collaborate across jurisdictions.

A mixed revenue model

In terms of achieving a mixed revenue option, suggestions (in order) were:

  • Seek possible Commonwealth support
  • Seek broader state government partnerships (NSW, VIC, QLD etc)
  • Seek an increase in ACT Government baseline funding
  • Accept ad hoc or recurrent donations from users
  • Seek possible support from corporate sponsors and/or philanthropists
  • Provide a paid service to ecological consultants who use NatureMapr data
  • Consider introduction of a paid financial membership option
  • Talk to Senator Pocock (done!)

We're working hard on all of the above options to ensure NatureMapr can transition to a mixed revenue model and we hope to be able to provide some news in this space soon.

Maximising value for government agencies

NatureMapr is working hard to provide a valuable service to multiple government agencies and landholder groups.

The only way we can do this sustainably, is to keep improving the platform capability, in a way that meets the needs of multiple agencies.

With multiple agencies on board, we can reduce the per agency investment burden and spread the cost to provide the best value for money per agency.

This means if we were building a new capability for one of the states, we might seek to consult with the other states to see if the capability might be useful for them too.

New donate button

Another key principle is that NatureMapr will always remain free for contributors - this is probably fairly obvious and it's something we feel very strongly about.

So it makes sense that we also didn't want to have to ask our community for donations or to dip into their own pocket to see the service continue.

But the Future of NatureMapr survey results have actually convinced us as to the importance of having a donate option for our community.

Allowing the NatureMapr community to donate serves 2 purposes:

  • It empowers the user community to have a direct influence on NatureMapr's ability to continue to provide the service (rather than sitting by helpless); AND
  • It provides important financial buffer to help NatureMapr get through critical peaks and troughs while we are working to establish larger revenue sources or to weather changes in government for example

Please watch this space as there are some exciting things in the works that we hope to share with you soon.

Thanks for all your support during this tricky yet exciting time in NatureMapr's growth journey.

Cheers

Aaron.

3 comments

HelenaWalker wrote:
   16 Apr 2024
I only recently discovered NatureMapr and it’s the most excited I’ve ever been about anything on the web. So fascinating and valuable for so many people but most of all for our amazing flora and fauna (and fungi). Thank you so much.
AaronClausen wrote:
   18 Apr 2024
That's great to hear @HelenaWalker - welcome to the NatureMapr community!
KorinneM wrote:
   20 Apr 2024
Thank you for providing this update.

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