Geolancer Guardians: how we solved the problem of rural POI coverage

Picture of Torsten Sandor

In our sales pitch, we promise our partners, some of the biggest tech companies in the world, that we will supply them with accurate Point-of-Interest data “from downtown Singapore to the rainforests of Sumatra”. Building a Points-of-Interest database in a dense area like Singapore CBD is trivial, and many companies can do it; but how about rural Indonesia or small islands in the Philippines? This is a story of how we employed blockchain technology and fantasy storytelling to get accurate ground truth data in areas that couldn’t be realistically mapped before.

With multiple navigation apps on our phones, we tend to think of accurate maps as a given. In reality, though, maps are pretty bad at providing information about Points-of-Interest (POI), even in the big cities. And when it comes to the depths of West Sumatra or the south of the Philippines, POI data barely exists.

In September 2021, we launched Geolancer, our proprietary POI data collection and verification platform in Southeast Asia. Using the mobile app, anyone can add ground truth information about Points-of-Interest: just go to your favorite coffee shop, snap a photo, add the address and the opening hours, and get rewarded with EQUAD cryptocurrency. Geolancer has been a resounding success both in terms of user growth and commercial viability. Today, the app supplies us with almost a million data points per month, and the information collected is utilized by some of the biggest companies in the world.

After building the best database in the industry for densely populated places like Singapore, Manila, and Jakarta, we decided to tackle our biggest challenge yet: rural areas.

Just a month after introducing Guardians in Geolancer, we've witnessed a 25 percent increase in our geographical coverage and a 37 percent surge in data collection.

Gamifying data collection

Mapping outside of the big cities is notoriously expensive. In Geolancer terms: it is not commercially feasible to merely offer higher EQUAD rewards for rural Points-of-Interest. Instead, we developed a comprehensive gamification feature, leading to the creation of the world's first Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection with tangible business value.

Each month, Geolancers compete for the prestigious Guardian title associated with every level 5 Geohash across the globe. In Southeast Asia, this corresponds to an area roughly measuring 5km x 5km:


The title is awarded based on a weighted lottery, where each approved POI counts as a ticket for that month's raffle. Winners receive a unique Guardian NFT with custom artwork, and each of these NFTs provides a 0.1% bonus on all future rewards. A single Geolancer can win the title in multiple areas, and the NFT bonuses are cumulative – holding 20 NFTs, for example, would yield a 2% bonus.

This gamification logic creates all the right incentives:

Increased collection rates

The weighted lottery system, as opposed to a winner-takes-all approach, encourages people to collect POIs even if they are not the best in a particular area. The concept of increasing your winning chances from 10% to 20% by simply adding a few more POIs is easy to grasp.

Better rural coverage

The competition for the Guardian title and the NFT is fierce in dense level 5 Geohashes like South Jakarta or Makati. However, with just a half-hour's travel, Geolancers can reach areas where little to no POIs have been added for that month. Venturing out of the city and adding a few places in these Geohashes means a very high chance of winning multiple NFTs that month.

Steady supply of data for subscription clients

Most of our clients prefer subscribing to our POI Data-as-Service feed. Our task is to make sure we can deliver steady volumes and quality. The Guardians turn on a powerful flywheel: experienced Geolancers with more NFTs receive higher bonuses, so they add more data.

More predictable POI updates

The competition both in dense areas and in rural places makes it easire to conduct update-type POI campaigns where Geolancers have to do periodic refresh of an existing data set.

Increased user retention

Instead of a lifetime leaderboard, we decided to start every month with a clean sheet. New users have an equal opportunity to win a Guardian NFT just like veteran Geolancers, and it is easy to bounce back even after a period of inactivity.

Increased project visibility and word-of-mouth

Guardian NFTs are showcased on public storefronts like OpenSea and can be traded freely. This creates buzz, attention, and word-of-mouth effect:


The Rise of the Guardians

To make the leap from good to great, we used a magical ingredient: storytelling.

Guardian NFTs are not merely crypto tokens with pretty pictures. They are cards in a deck of heroes, beasts, wizards, and shadow creatures representing an era that existed before our time on Earth. An age that saw heroic battles between good and bad, fought with magic and long-forgotten technology. It ended with the victory of the Guardians over the evil, albeit at tremendous cost:

Each month, the NFTs feature different characters from the saga. In May, we introduced our warriors; in June, mythical beasts of the land; and in July, shamans and healers. This enables deck-building features like combining cards (“build a tribe”) or upgrading characters (“level 2 warriors”) in the future.


To make the experience truly immersive, we use generative AI – Stable Diffusion – to produce all the artwork. Every month, all the NFT pictures we produce are entirely unique. We even endeavor to create characters that mirror the local aesthetics for each geography, using different prompts for India, Indonesia, Singapore, among others. For every collection, we generate well over 10,000 images, making Guardians one of the biggest generative AI art projects in the world.

Old business problems require new solutions

At Quadrant, our superpower is taking the latest technologies, stripping them of the hype and fluff, and using them in solving age-old business problems.

With Geolancer, we’ve utilized crypto to address the issue of reward micropayments, thereby creating a sustainable economy for data collection. We are employing Large Language Models (LLM) to promptly answer questions about geographical datasets—stay tuned for more! With Guardians, we brought together gamification, crypto NFTs, and generative AI to solve the problems of rural map coverage, steady data supply, and predictable updates.

Reach out to us and let's discuss how we can assist your business with the most accurate and up-to-date POI data in the industry.




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