Citizen Science 2015 (first day)

San Jose is the location for the first citizen science association meeting, on the 11th and 12th February. The level of enthusiasm to citizen science by researchers and practitioners was palpable, even before the conference with an overwhelming number of submissions and abstract. In the end, the conference run with 7 parallel sessions, and many […]

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nQuire-it/Sense-it – discovering sensors in your phone

The Open University, with support from Nominet Trust and UTC Sheffield have launched  the nQuire-it.org website, which seem to have a great potential for running citizen science activities. The nQuire platform allows participants to create science inquiry ‘missions’. It is accompanied by an Android app called Sense-it that exposed all the sensors that are integrated in a smartphone and let […]

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Neoliberal addresses

What does addresses got to do with economic theory and political dogma? turn out that quite a lot. As I was looking at the latest press release from the cabinet office, proudly announcing that the government is investing in (yet another) UK address database, I realised that the handling of UK addresses, those deceivingly simple […]

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Geographic Information Science and Citizen Science

Thanks to invitations from UNIGIS and from Edinburgh Earth Observatory / AGI Scotland, I had an opportunity to reflect on how Geographic Information Science (GIScience) can contribute to citizen science, and what citizen science can contribute to GIScience. Despite the fact that it’s been 8 years since the term Volunteers Geographic Information (VGI) was coined, […]

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Diary of a a citizen scientist by Sharman Apt Russell

The academic literature on Citizen Science is expanding quickly, with hundreds of papers that are published in peer review publications every years about it. These papers are written by professional scientists and practitioners, mostly for an audience of other professional scientists and practitioners. A very common concern of researchers is to understand the motivations and incentives […]

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British Ecological Society & Société Française d’Ecologie meeting, Lille (Day 3)

The last day of the BES/Sfé meeting was in the mood of celebration, so a session dedicated to celebrating citizen science was in place.  My notes from first day and the second day are in previous posts. These notes are long… Before the session, in a symposium on tree health, Michael Pocock (CEH) presented ‘Monitoring to […]

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British Ecological Society & Société Française d’Ecologie meeting, Lille (Day 2)

Notes from the second day of the BES/sfé annual meeting (see first day notes here) Several talks in sessions that attracted my attention: Daniel Richards (National University of Singapore) looked at cultural ecosystem services from social media sources. He mentioned previous study by  Casalegno at al 2013 study on social media and ecosystem services . In Singapore […]

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Mapping for Change community-led air quality studies

As part of the citizens observatories conference, I represented Mapping for Change, providing an overview of community-led air quality studies that we have run over the past 4 years. Interestingly, as we started the work in collaboration with London Sustainability Exchange, and with help from the Open Air Laboratories programme the work can be contextualised within the […]

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Citizens Observatories: Empowering European Society

A citizens observatory is a concept that evolved at EU policy circles, defining the combination of participatory community monitoring, technology and governance structures that are needed to monitor/observe/manage an environmental issue. About two years ago, the EU FP7 funded 5 citizens observatory projects covering areas from water management to biodiversity monitoring. A meeting at Brussels was […]

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EU BON round table discussion on supporting citizen science, Berlin

The EU BON is a European project, focusing on building the European Biodiversity Observation Network. Now, with the growing recognition of citizen science as a source of biodiversity observations, a meeting dedicated to the intersection was organised in Berlin today, following the ECSA meeting.  The project carried out gap analysis of the available data, which also explores […]

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European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) general assembly (Berlin)

The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) reached an important stage in its development, with a general assembly in Berlin on 26th November 2014. The organisation was finally formally registered as a German charity in April, so now it’s time to consider future directions and developments. The assembly had about 50 participants with new members joining […]

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Long-running citizen science and Flynn effect

If you have been reading the literature on citizen science, you must have noticed that many papers that describe citizen science start with an historical narrative, something along the lines of: As Silvertown (2009) noted, until the late 19th century, science was mainly developed by people who had additional sources of employment that allowed them […]

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Assertions on crowdsourced geographic information & citizen science #1

Looking across the range of crowdsourced geographic information activities, some regular patterns are emerging and it might be useful to start notice them as a way to think about what is possible or not possible to do in this area. Since I don’t like the concept of ‘laws’ – as in Tobler’s first law of […]

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GIS chapter in ‘Introducing Human Geographies’

There is something in the physical presence of book that is pleasurable. Receiving the copy of Introducing Human Geographies was special, as I have contributed a chapter about Geographic Information Systems to the ‘cartographies’ section. It might be a response to Ron Johnston critique of Human Geography textbooks or a decision by the editors to extend the […]

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Gartner’s hype cycle and citizen science

The term ‘Citizen Science’ is clearly gaining more recognition and use. It is now get mentioned in radio and television broadcasts, social media channels as well as conferences and workshops. Some of the clearer signs for the growing attention include discussion of citizen science in policy oriented conferences such as UNESCO’s World Summit on Information Society […]

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Eye on Earth user conference – the need to motivate green computing

The Eye on Earth first user conference, which was in Dublin at the beginning of March, was as interesting as the first summit in Abu Dhabi, in December 2011. Significantly, in the conference the role of citizen science in environmental monitoring and the creation of useful environmental information was highlighted from the opening address by Prof […]

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Science for everyone by everyone – the re-emergence of citizen science

Earlier this week, I gave a public lecture as part of UCL‘s programme of Lunch Hour Lectures. The talk, which is titled ‘Science for everyone by everyone – the re-emergence of citizen science‘ covered the area of citizen science and explained what we are trying to achieve within the Extreme Citizen Science research group. Because […]

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Citizen or Civic Science, activism and NIMBY

Recently, I attended a meeting with people from a community that is concerned with vibration and noise caused by a railway near their homes. We have discussed the potential of using citizen science to measure the vibrations that pass the sensory threshold and that people classify as unpleasant, together with other perceptions and feeling about […]

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The value of “analog” user experience

I’ve been using 37Signals’ Basecamp now for over 5 years. I’m involved in many projects with people from multiple departments and organisations. In the first large project that I run in 2007 – Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities – Basecamp was recommended to us by Nick Black (just before he co-founded CloudMade), so we’ve started […]

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Higher Education and Social Enterprise: feedback loops and interactions

Last week, I attended a round table discussion about Social Enterprise and Higher Education Institutions at the department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The meeting was part of a larger event on social enterprise that was organised by Social Enterprise UK and UnLtd to mark Social Enterprise day. The discussion explored different aspects in […]

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Spatial Data Infrastructures, Crowdsourcing and VGI

The Spatial Data Infrastructure Magazine (SDIMag.com) is a relatively new e-zine dedicated to the development of spatial  data infrastructures around the world. Roger Longhorn, the editor of the magazine, conducted an email interview with me, which is now published. In the interview, we are covering the problematic terminology used to describe a wider range of activities; the […]

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Biohacking, iGEM and the limits of citizen science

    On 25th September, the UCL iGEM team organised an event that was dedicated to demonstrating their work with the Biohacking enthusiasts at the London Hackspace, on the rights and risks on public participation in developing a biobrick. The event raised some fundamental questions about ethics and limits of citizen science, but first, some […]

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Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers vritual issue on GIScience

Since early 2010, I had the privilege of being a member of the editorial board of the journal Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers . It is a fascinating position, as the journal covers a wide range of topics in geography, and is also recognised as one of the top journals in the field […]

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Public Participation in Scientific Research workshop

  On the 4th and 5th August, Portland, OR, was the gathering place for 300 participants that came to the workshop on Public Participation in Scientific Research. The workshop was timed just before the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, and therefore it was not surprising that the workshop focused on citizen science […]

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Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation

At the end of 2010, Matt Wilson (University of Kentucky) and Mark Graham(Oxford Internet Institute), started coordinating a special issue of Environment and Planning Adedicated to ‘Situating Neogeography’, asking ‘How might we situate neogeography?  What are the various assemblages, networks, ecologies, configurations, discourses, cyborgs, alliances that enable/enact these technologies?’ My response to this call is […]

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The Guardian Science Weekly podcast dedicated to Citizen Science

The Guardian Science Weekly podcast is dedicated to Citizen Science – another example of the growing interest in popular media in Citizen Science. However, the podcast conflate cases were non-professional scientists are involved in scientific project (and Chris Lintott discuss Galaxy Zoo, FoldIt and similar projects) with participation in scientific research through surveys. It is […]

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Francois Grey’s 7 myths of citizen science

Over the Air 2012 event was a wonderful event – it’s a 36 hours event, dedicated to mobile development and it is based on Bletchley park. This year, Citizen Science was a theme of the event. The final talk was given by Francois Grey from the Citizen Cyberscience Centre . Francois’ interest is on volunteer computing […]

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‘Nobody wants to do council estates’ – digital divide, spatial justice and outliers – AAG 2012

At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, I presented during the session ‘Information Geographies: Online Power, Representation and Voice’, which was organised by Mark Graham (Oxford Internet Institute) and Matthew Zook (University of Kentucky). For an early morning session on a Saturday, the session was well attended – and the papers […]

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London Citizen Cyberscience Summit – new collaborations and ideas

The London Citizen Cyberscience Summit ran in the middle of February, from 16th (Thursday) to 18th (Saturday). It marked the launch of the UCL Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group, while providing an opportunity for people who are interested in different aspects of citizen science to come together, discuss, share ideas, consider joint projects and learn […]

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Reflections on Eye on Earth summit (2): the 3 eras of public access to environmental information

As noted  in the previous post, which focused on the linkage between GIS and Environmental Information Systems,  the Eye on Earth Summit took place in Abu Dhabi on the 12 to 15 December 2011, and focused on ‘the crucial importance of environmental and societal information and networking to decision-making’.  Throughout the summit, two aspects of […]

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Reflections on Eye on Earth summit: the integration of GIS in Environmental Information Systems

The Eye on Earth Summit took place in Abu Dhabi on the 12 to 15 December 2011, and focused on ‘the crucial importance of environmental and societal information and networking to decision-making’. The summit was an opportunity to evaluate the development of Principle 10 from Rio declaration in 1992 as well as Chapter 40 of […]

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Levels of participation in citizen science and scientific knowledge production

The previous post focused on citizen science as participatory science. This post is discussing the meaning of this differentiation. It is the final part of the chapter that will appear next year in the book: Sui, D.Z., Elwood, S. and M.F. Goodchild (eds.), 2012. Volunteered Geographic Information, Public Participation, and Crowdsourced Production of Geographic Knowledge. […]

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Citizen Science as Participatory Science

This post continues to the theme of the previous one, and is also based on the chapter that will appear next year in the book: Sui, D.Z., Elwood, S. and M.F. Goodchild (eds.), 2012. Volunteered Geographic Information, Public Participation, and Crowdsourced Production of Geographic Knowledge. Berlin: Springer. The post focuses on the participatory aspect of […]

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Classification of Citizen Science activities

As part of the Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) workshop that was held in Seattle in April 2011, Daniel Sui, Sarah Elwood and Mike Goodchild announced that they will be editing a volume dedicated to the topic, planned to be published at the beginning of next year. My contribution to this volume focuses on citizen science, […]

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Observing from afar or joining the action: OSM and GIScience research

At the State of the Map (EU) 2011 conference that was held in Vienna from 15-17 July, I gave a keynote talk on the relationships between the OpenStreetMap  (OSM) community and the GIScience research community. Of course, the relationships are especially important for those researchers who are working on volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), due to […]

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Google Research Award – Identifying Learning Benefits of Google Earth Tours in Education

It is always nice to announce good news. Back in February, together with Richard Treves at the University of Southampton, I submitted an application to the Google’s Faculty Research Award program for a grant to investigate Google Earth Tours in education. We were successful in getting a grant worth $86,883 USD.  The project builds on […]

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Some important questions about the usability of geospatial technologies

At the beginning of May, I gave a lecture at the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) seminar titled ‘Interacting with Geospatial Technologies – Overview and Research Challenges’. The talk was somewhat similar to the one that I gave at the BCS Geospatial SIG. However, I was trying to answer a question that I was asked during […]

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OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey Meridian 2 comparison – 2008 – 2011

In March 2008, I started comparing OpenStreetMap in England to the Ordnance Survey Meridian 2, as a way to evaluate the completeness of OpenStreetMap coverage. The rational behind the comparison is that Meridian 2 represents a generalised geographic dataset that is widely use in national scale spatial analysis. At the time that the study started, […]

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