Parcel Explorer for Decentraland

The Parcel Explorer is an independent community project to provide an interface of land ownership transfers in the decentralized VR world Decentraland. Ownership transfers take place on the Ethereum blockchain. Even though there is an official land manager, tracking down transfers is quite inconvenient. In the last two weeks, I was working on a tool to simplify this process. In this article, I want to shed some light on the development process.

One of the most interesting projects for me in the Ethereum space is Decentraland. It's a VR world, similiar to Second Life, however, the land is scarce and ownership is recorded into the Ethereum blockchain using a smart contract. The LAND token has attributes x,y to identify the land location in Decentraland. The LAND transfer is initiated by calling the smart contract method transferLand(int x, int y, address to). When transfering land ownership to another person you don't need to call the smart contract explicitly, you can use the official LAND Manager.

However, to be sure that the transaction ran through, you can either ask the other person if he or she received the land ownership or track down the transaction on Etherscan and decipher the method call. This is the inconvenience the Parcel Explorer should solve.

Screenshot

Parcel Explorer

The Parcel Explorer consists of an Ethereum full-node, a NodeJS backend using Feathers.io and PostgreSQL and a simple React frontend. I would consider it as a production-ready MVP, and the feedback I got so far was great. People are starting to use and support it. Further, I am happy that the official Decentraland team is appreciating and promoting it.

The current features include: a list of land ownership transfers including meta data like the block height, transaction, transaction status and application-specific attributes like from, to, parcel location. The second feature is the search which allows the user to track down ownership transfers in the from, to and parcel location fields. The initial version of the site desktop-optimized, due to the timebox I wanted to work it, but if demand stays constant or grows, I will think about working on a cleaner mobile UI. If you have any suggestions I would highly appreciate them in the Feedback form of the site.

Decentralized Open Data

The blockchain is not only an open ledger of records, but in the ideal world also an infrastructure with a standardized interface for e.g. assets, access control etc. And even though, there is no standardized protocol to register assets on the blockchain in an interoperable way just yet (There are two different solutions ERC-721 also known as Non-fungible Token (NFT) and the Distinguishable Assets Registry), I believe, the ecosystem will thrive because of exactly that in the future. As a Japanese user on Twitter pointed out, "It is good that a great tool is born from the community." (translated using Google Translate) and I'm looking forward to see more.


One or two mails a month about the latest technology I'm hacking on.