The Oracle

What is the Oracle in Guardians of Earth?

The 'Oracle of Life' (also known as the Bio-Expertise Engine) is a knowledge-sharing platform within Guardians of Earth that incentivises users to cultivate and contribute their biodiversity expertise (you can access it here -> It uses a reputation-based system to rank expertise based on past proven knowledge across various categories of life. The Oracle is designed to validate biodiversity monitoring data collected by the Guardians of Earth community and to enhance and/or ground-truth data aggregated from other biodiversity monitoring apps and systems. The resulting high quality biodiversity monitoring data contributes to global biodiversity databases and research, while also helping Nature Realm owners, sponsors and communities gain greater insights into the life of their land to inform positive action. The Oracle is a community of diverse humans - nature enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and experts - who are passionate about documenting and preserving biodiversity.

What is the vision for the Oracle?

The vision for the Oracle in Guardians of Earth is to create a global, inclusive, and rewarding platform for sharing and cultivating knowledge about biodiversity. We aim to recognize and value all forms of knowledge about nature, not just scientific names but also other names, stories, and indigenous knowledge systems.

We envision the Oracle as a space where anyone, regardless of their background or level of expertise, can contribute to and learn from a collective body of knowledge about the natural world. We believe that by fostering a community of passionate and knowledgeable nature enthusiasts, we can make significant strides in documenting and preserving biodiversity.

In terms of rewards, we are enhancing the BioCoin system to further incentivize contributions to the Oracle. Our vision includes the evolution of BioCoin into an on-chain BioToken with increasing real-world utility that grows the tangible value of biodiversity knowledge.

Furthermore, we are exploring the potential to improve the Oracle through on-chain verification processes. This could enhance the transparency, security, and decentralization of the Oracle, aligning with the principles of open science and collaborative knowledge creation.

In the long term, our vision for the Oracle is to serve as a global hub and incubator for biodiversity knowledge, contributing to research, conservation efforts, and the cultivation of a new generation of nature custodians. We know that by valuing and incentivizing nature knowledge, we can inspire more people to engage with and protect the natural world.

How can I contribute my knowledge to the Oracle?

You can contribute to the Oracle by logging in and identifying sightings of biodiversity. There’s a lot of sightings to identify though, so to focus on what you know best, set your categories and region(s) of expertise within your profiles settings. Once you start to ‘Identify sightings’ you’ll start earning BioCoin when your identification matches the verified ID or "betters" it on the taxon tree. As you correctly identify more sightings, your expertise level increases, giving more weight to your identifications and unlocking additional abilities.

You are also welcome to join the conversations about the Oracle’s design and improvement within both the QuestaGame Discord and Guardians of Earth Discord.

What do I need to do when identifying a sighting?

When you click on an image in the “Sightings to ID” gallery, you will be able to see all the photos associated with that submission, along with a map that shows its location.

When submitting an identification, there are four required fields:

  1. Quality of the photos - How clear are the photos and how helpful are they for identifying the specimen?

  2. Quality of any field notes - Field notes should add information not provided by the photos. How observant are they and how helpful might they be for future scientific research or for identifying the specimen itself?

  3. Scientific name - Start typing the scientific name at the taxon level you are 100% confident in. You should not be guessing. So for example, if you think the specimen might be one of two different species and are not sure which one, give the genus as the identification.

  4. Remarkability score - The remarkability score is about how likely you are to observe that specimen at that location and time of year. More likely equals less remarkability.

Higher rated experts will be able to unlock additional fields, such as the ability to view what the submitter suggested as the ID, as well as to add additional comments and cool facts about the specimen.

Not sure what a sighting is, but keen to find out? You can select FOLLOW, which adds the sighting to your MENU > FOLLOWING page, so you can track it and see how it’s identified.

Can I log in with a Guardians of Earth, QuestaGame or Bio-Expertise Engine account?

The Oracle (also known as the Bio-Expertise Engine) and QuestaGame are a part of the Guardians of Earth platform. If you originally created your account on either of these systems, it will automatically work within the Oracle, and in the Guardians of Earth game.

What are the benefits of contributing to the Oracle?

Contributing to the Oracle allows you to share your knowledge, learn from and inspire others, and contribute to global biodiversity databases and research. As your expertise level increases, you gain more influence within the Oracle community.

When you go to identify sightings, you’ll notice that each one has a variable BioCoin reward against it. You earn this BioCoin for correct identifications. You can use the BioCoin you earn for special powers within the Guardians of Earth platform. For example, in the Oracle, BioCoin allows you to:

  • CHALLENGE ID: If you see a sighting you think has been wrongly identified, or can be more accurately identified, you can challenge the ID and provide a better one. (If your new ID is verified, you’ll receive bonus BioCoin).

  • BOOST: If you think a particular sighting is remarkable and deserves more experts looking at it, you can boost the sighting on the system, increasing its visibility and the amount of expertise it can receive before it closes.

  • FIND EXPERT: You can notify one of the experts about a particular sighting. Each expert has an activity % which indicates how active they’ve been over the last 2 weeks compared to other experts, so a higher % equals a higher likelihood of a response. If the expert identifies it correctly, it will be added to your MY COLLECTION on your profile page. For the person requesting the expertise, higher level experts cost more that lower level experts, as do more active experts. This means, as well, that higher level, more active experts stand to earn more if their ID is verified as correct.

You can also use BioCoin for Nature Realm subscriptions. When the Guardians of Earth game releases BioCoin will also be exchangeable for in-app currencies. Our vision includes constantly looking for new ways to allow BioCoin to be spent in ways that bring value to biodiversity knowledge, and cultivate a new generation of nature custodians.

How does the Oracle validate biodiversity data?

The Oracle uses a combination of consensus algorithms and verifier blind-review to validate biodiversity data. When a sighting is submitted, it is open for identification by the community. The consensus algorithm takes into account all suggested IDs, weighted by the suggestor’s expertise level in the category. You will see that at the bottom of each sighting is a % complete bar. Once the sighting has received enough expertise, it hits 100% and is closed. The final step is a final ‘verification’ through which the final ID is given. Only higher level Guardians have the power to ‘verify’ sightings. This process ensures that the data collected is accurate and reliable.

What are the stages a sighting goes through before its ID is final?

All sightings exist in one of three states:

1. Pending - The sighting is viewable in the Oracle and accepting IDs from the community

2. Closed - The sighting is no longer accepting IDs as enough expertise has been received. However the sighting is yet to be verified as a final quality control.

3. Verified - The sighting has been given a final ID based on a combination of consensus algorithms and verifier review. The consensus algorithm takes into account all suggested IDs, weighted by their expertise level in the category. The sighting is now open to being challenged by others (See Challenge ID above), which returns it to the Pending state.

Can beginners contribute to the Oracle or is it only for experts?

Absolutely, beginners are welcome and encouraged to contribute to the Oracle. Everyone starts at level 1 (Beginner) and can increase their expertise level over time by correctly identifying sightings (however, if your expertise level is lower than it should be - say you already have some expertise in a category - then within your profile settings you can hit the “Increase my expertise levels” button and complete this request form to allow us to set your expertise to an appropriate level. The Oracle is a learning platform as much as it is a knowledge-sharing platform. As you learn and grow, you can move up the ranks and join the most respected Guardians.

The Oracle is a reputation based system - but what does that mean?

A reputation-based system is a mechanism that assigns a score or rank to individuals within a community based on their past actions, behaviours, or contributions. This score or rank, often referred to as a "reputation," is used to indicate the reliability, trustworthiness, or expertise of an individual.

In the context of the Oracle in Guardians of Earth, the reputation-based system ranks users' expertise based on their past proven knowledge across various categories of life. This means that when a user correctly identifies a species, their expertise level in that category increases. This expertise level then influences the weight or value of their future identifications. For example, an identification from a user with a high expertise level in birds would carry more weight than an identification from a user with a lower expertise level in birds.

This system encourages users to contribute accurate and reliable information, as their reputation (and thus their influence within the Oracle) is directly tied to the quality of their contributions. It also provides a measure of reliability for the information within the Oracle, as identifications from users with higher expertise levels are given more weight in the consensus process.

The Oracle uses a consensus algorithm - but what does that mean?

A consensus algorithm is a process used in computer science to achieve agreement on a single data value among distributed processes or systems. Consensus algorithms are designed to solve the problem of ensuring that all participants in a distributed network agree on a particular piece of data or state, even if some of the participants fail or are unreliable.

In the context of the Oracle in Guardians of Earth, a consensus algorithm is used to validate biodiversity data. When a sighting is submitted, it is open for identification by the community. The consensus algorithm takes into account all suggested identifications (IDs), weighted by the suggester's expertise level in the category. This means that the algorithm considers not just the number of times a particular ID is suggested, but also the expertise of the users suggesting that ID.

Once the sighting has received enough expertise, it is closed, and the final step is a final ‘verification’ through which the final ID is given. This process ensures that the data collected is accurate and reliable, as it is based on the consensus of a community of users with varying levels of expertise.

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