An Elixir for Environmental Health. Empowering environmental recovery with software

Emily deGroot

Tom Collins


The Open Landscape Network is a diverse community of environmentalists and technologists developing information systems for evidence-based recovery of environmental health. The OLN is conceived as a shared yet customizable infrastructure that provides scalable, dependable, and affordable capabilities to help environmental projects collaborate with landholders (spanning European farmers to Indigenous peoples), scientists, funders, business and governments.

The R&D process led to Elixir as a potential base on which to develop the system. First trials in Europe (The Netherlands and Spain) in 2019 were successful, but revealed challenges in the model. Refinements are made continuously, and in 2023 the project expanded to Alaska in partnership with an Indigenous tribal government, with future growth planned across the U.S..

This talk summarizes the journey, challenges encountered and solutions adopted. It references features such as Umbrella Apps and open source components.

OBJECTIVES: Building awareness of an ambitious software project. Gaining additional support (in-kind or otherwise) for the initiative, and demonstrating technical innovation in the environmental sector.

AUDIENCE: Developers interested in projects of the BEAM community, environmentally-minded technologists who are looking to apply their skills on meaningful efforts.

Introductory and overview