On this year's ECSA Citizen Science conference, we have been invited to hold a workshop on technology and the practice of design for Citizen Science. Since the conference moved completely online (read more about our experiences here in the Blog), we filled the session together with Jessie L- Oliver from the Australian Citizen Science Association CitSciOz with a talk about how technology can change the way, Citizen Science is used and what technology implementation means for Citizen Science Apps and interactive online tools.
From 6th to 10th of September, the European Citizen Science Conference ECSA 2020 took place in the virtual space. Since we have been designing and developing the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform for apps and interactive toolkits since 2014 already, it was not our first conference on Citizen Science - at least for Philipp, who is quite a regular in terms of visiting conferences. But this year, things rarely have been normal, and so the virtual event of ECSA 2020 was something new to all of us. Here are some first impressions by 2 conference newbies and a regular:
From the 6th to 10th of September, the European Citizen Science Conference 2020 by ECSA will be held exclusively online in Trieste, Italy.
What is the best way for a Citizen Scientist to observe a specific plant, landscape, place, etc. over a more extended period of time and gather valuable data during its course?
Our world is subject to constant change.
It establishes itself by constant development and evolution, triggered by events like human activity, climate change, erosion, or simply the changing of the seasons, and many more. These changes in observational data are not just a side effect, but they're often the primary focus for scientists and the research project.
Green Growth Forests is another new app on the SPOTTERON citizen science platform and the first project from South America!
For Citizen Science projects, it is essential to understand the needs of the user and how to design interactive products and apps to guarantee good usability – which is highly involving. Researching and observing should be an experience with added value. Therefore User Journeys are often used in the progress of developing a new Application.
Making complex information easy to understand not just to scientists but also to citizens is an art form, especially when it comes to describing things or places very few among us have ever seen or experienced: space.
KraMobil is a new Citizen Science Project of the University of Vienna in cooperation with ZooVienna to observe crows and their behaviour.
Spot-A-Bee, a new app by The University of Glasgow and the Cardiff University aims to find out which plants in urban areas are especially bee-friendly and help bee populations thrive.
Our Citizen Science partner "Konrad Lorenz Research Center", running the Citizen Science App "Forschen im Almtal" on the SPOTTERON Platform and initiator of "NestCams", our first collaboration with Zooniverse, started a great initiative. At their research station, they host a colony of Northern Bald Ibis, amazing birds which you can also observe in the "Forschen I'm Almtal" Citizen Science App.
On Saturday last week, I was on a walk outside to get a little bit of sunshine. But since Citizen Science became a significant thing in my life, these rounds are not only for stretching my legs. With the smartphone in my pocket and a bunch of Citizen Science Apps installed, every walk feels like an adventure.
Challenging times require creative solutions. The current corona crisis is a perfect example of that. That’s why we are excited to announce that the University of Edinburgh joined forces with SPOTTERON once more to create the CoronaReport Citizen Science app because understanding the social impact of COVID-19 on society is very important - not only for research but for society itself.
In today's fast and everchanging world, it can seem tedious to syphon through the haze of information to find the relevant one. A quick search on Google is undoubtedly a good thing, but what if you need the information to be verified as quickly, as possible?
Many users will turn to social media to do that. Why? Because on Twitter, you can find news in real-time. Without much effort, you can verify a piece of information in an instant.
Data quality and data management are essential aspects of Citizen Science. In order to always have a validated and stable data-set of user's contributions that can be managed directly in your Citizen Science app's administration interface present, we have created "Check & Lock".
When choosing a name for your Citizen Science app or a project, you're creating a public appearance. You want to make it stand out, and you want people to remember it. Here's a short guideline on how to best achieve precisely that.
2019 has been an amazing year. The SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform evolved into an even more professional solution for participatory science applications. In summer, we organized the "SPOTTERON Feature Ecosystem" into various thematic packages for a better overview of what the platform brings to every new Citizen Science project. Furthermore, we were able to welcome new project partners from all across Europe, Australia and the United States of America on SPOTTERON.
At SPOTTERON, we love it when science, design and art come together to create something quite special and unique. One of those special things are the clay animation videos by Max Helmberger.
An analysis of the state of the mobile web conducted by SimilarWeb earlier this year presented on Perficient Digital digital marketing agency has shown that usage of the mobile internet vs the desktop went down compared to 2017 but is still higher than in 2016.
It’s mushroom season here in Austria, which means it’s the perfect time to introduce you to the Mushroom Finder- the SPOTTERON mushroop app for citizen scientist!
In the Tea Bag Index Citizen Science App, everything is about soil. Various observation categories are ready to participate in, from easy soil classification and testing to the well-known method of burying and weighting teabags to measure the decay rate of plants. Citizen Scientists are welcome to participate worldwide and contribute to improving climate models and soil research.
A brand new feature for all Citizen Science apps on the SPOTTERON platform comes with the next release version: Citizen Science Events. With this new extension, the project teams can publish events like workshops or field trips directly in the Citizen Science app. Secondly, it is possible to create area events, to e.g. highlight, where more observations by the Citizen Scientists are needed.
During the iDiv Summer School 2019 "Citizen Science – Innovation in Open Science, Society, and Policy" in Leipzig, Germany, we co-created the concept for a free Citizen Science video called "Explore Citizen Science", which you can download and use freely.
CrowdWater is a global Citizen Science project initiated by the University of Zurich, which collects hydrological data. The goal is to develop a cheap and easy data collection method that can be used to predict floods and low flow. The long-term aim of the project is to complement existing gauging station networks, especially in regions with a sparse measurement network, such as in developing countries.
We are very proud to announce that the NestCams project has now officially launched!
NestCams is a Citizen Science Project developed with our partners at the Core Facility Konrad Lorenz Research Station for Behavior and Cognition (Konrad Lorenz Forschungsstelle) on the Zooniverse platform.
In a new video series, our partners from Schweiz Forscht portray some of their most dedicated Citizen Scientist on their website.
During summer, many conferences on Citizen Science and other events are happening. To spread the word about Citizen Science and share our experience in creating interactive Citizen Science apps, we had quite a schedule this year..
In this blog series we would like to introduce all our apps and give you an overview of the diverse world of Citizen Science and its possibilities. Our first one is the "Naturkalender" (Nature's Calender).
The ACTION project (Participatory science toolkit against pollution, co-funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework, SwafS programme ) has an open call for ongoing citizen science projects related to any form of pollution in Europe or worldwide looking for support.
This spring, the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Germany, organized a photo contest through our Citizen Science App "Landauf, LandApp". Users were encouraged to go on a historical expedition and find out how the cities and their surroundings have changed in the last few decades.
Last week, the Austrian Citizen Science conference took place in Obergurgl, Tyrolia and we took the occasion to arrive one day earlier to visit the mountainside and get a good view of the impressive landscape surrounding the area.As Citizen Scientists, we always love to stumble apon new things to record and contribute in various scientific projects.
A warm welcome to the new released Tea Bag Index Citizen Science app, now running on the SPOTTERON platform! We are especially happy to have this well known Citizen Science research project about soil and the global carbon cycle joining our CitSci network of projects by partner across Europe and beyond.The first spots by schools have already been contributed and the the first teabags have been burried to observe the decay rate of plant material on the locations.
The new SPOTTERON version 2.7 does not only introduce the new Leaderboards (aka User Ranking) for all Citizen Science apps running on the platform, but also 2 more panels with new data statistics.
We are proud to announce, that lately, we formed part of the author-team of a scientific paper, published in the Frontiers magazine, about Citizen Science based on hydrological observations.
The new platform version 2.7. is going to bring a complete overhaul of the ranking panel with advanced community leaderboards and more statistic tool for all Citizen Science apps on the SPOTTERON platform.
Today marks the release day for our Citizen Science interview series! Continuously we are going to publish interviews with different head of projects running on the SPOTTERON Platform.
When developing Citizen Science Apps, the usability has a big impact on how well and frequent people use them in the end. The goal for Citizen Science Apps is to become an important part in the everyday lives of their users in the long term, so that users can gain experience and can contribute important data to scientific projects.
Currently, the #CitSci2019 conference in Raleigh, NC is going on and we follow the workshops, sessions and comments via twitter from our SPOTTERON Citizen Science design office in Vienna, Europe. But since we always love to support Citizen Science, we decided spontanously to do another special for one project of any participant or group at the conference.
We are very happy to be featured in the new Citizen Sience 4.0 article by Maximilian Ueberham in the gis.Business magazine (Ausgabe 01/2019). After a short introduction about Citizen Science author Maximilian Ueberham presents Citizen Sience projects, including the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform.
We are happy to announce the release of the new SPOTTERON version 2.6.0! The next SPOTTERON Update brings 3 new extension, available for all Citizen Science apps running on the SPOTTERON platform. In the following blog entry we are going to explain these new features and their function.
On the 25th of January 2019 the Vienna City Hall hosted the Vienna Ball of Sciences for the 5th time, held under the motto: “Waltz and Science". As Citizen Scientists from SPOTTERON it was a great pleasure, that we had been invited to film the event just as we did the year before.
Sometimes, Citizen Science contributions are happening long after the sun has set. To reduce the blinding effect of a smartphone display, we have included a new night mode option for all Citizen Science apps on the SPOTTERON platform.
When developing a Citizen Science app, you can influence usability in many ways. But these crucial decisions can be decisive factors when it comes down to whether they enjoy using it and do so regularly.
Thanks for all the CitizenScience! We wish you a happy New Year's Eve and many more exciting #CitSci moments in the upcoming year. We have already new projects coming up, the first one about light pollution and Citizen Science will be ready in 1st of February. But for now, we are off until the end of first week of the new year - see you in 2019!
The next SPOTTERON Update brings 3 new extension for all Citizen Science apps on the platform. One of the new features are the upcoming "User Roles", part of SPOTTERON's data quality pack.
With the new SPOTTERON platform version 2.5 we bring two more highlights to all apps on the Citizen Science platform: First of all, the Offline Maps & Spots feature allows users to download map areas and spots on their phone for having them present, even when there is no internet connection available. This feature is a big improvement, specially for Citizen Science Apps, in which the main activity takes place often outdoors in the field where web connectivitiy is not always a given thing.
From 15th to 19th of October, the Citizen Science Summer School "Citizen Science in Theory and Practice" took place in "Grünau im Almtal", a small town in the south of Upper Austria. Grünau is particular famous for the KLF, the "Konrad Lorenz Reseach Station" where zoologist and Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz studied animal behavior and became one of the founders of modern ethology. Not far from the research station, a whole week was dedicated to Citizen Science and many interesting workshops, sessions and collaboration teamwork took place.
Citizen Science often happens out in the field where network coverage can be weaker. That's why it can be especially helpful and pratical to pre-download map sections and save them locally on a smartphone for excursions and hiking trips.
Last week it was time for the annual European Researchers Night, a mega event which takes place simultaneously in hundreds of cities all over Europe, again. Of course we couldn't miss it and went to the event at the TGM in the 20th district of Vienna.
Communication is an important factor in the Citizen Science field, not only within the projects themselves, but also among project leaders. For this purpose we implemented a forum on our website in the summer of 2018, which internally functions as a platform for exchange, networking and feedback.
Today we want to take you on a little trip in our blog. We want to take you on the journey of going from a paper sketch to a custom built Citizen Science observation entry dialogue alongside the most recent addition to the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform - Brushturkeys.
We recently added something new as part of all SPOTTERON packages: a short app-manual for all interactive Citizen Science projects on the platform.
We are happy to welcome a new project to the SPOTTERON platform this month. As you can tell by the name, „Brushturkeys - birds in suburbia“ is all about Australian Brushturkeys extending their natural habitat, which usually includes rainforests and woodlands, to suburban areas.
On 6th & 7th of September 2018, the "Forum Citizen Science" took place in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by the german Citizen Science hub "Bürger schaffen Wissen".
Hello there Frankfurt!
This Thursday and Friday, on the 6th and 7th of September, we will be in Frankfurt for the annual meetup of the German Citizen Science Community, the "Forum Citizen Science". We will be present during the entire conference, host a workshop and will also have a SPOTTERON stand.
Thanks for the many interesting submissions and your paticipation in the SPOTTERON Citizen Science contest for getting a free App in Europe! We are finally able to announce the winner (and a follow up project as second place) here on our Citizen Science blog:
All Citizen Science projects on the SPOTTERON platform can use all custom extensions on the platform without additional costs from the start.
Every two years, a big conference about Citizen Science takes place in an European Country - this time we travelled to Geneva in Switzerland, where the ECSA 2018 was happening.
This weekend we got do some Shinrin Yoku and recharged our batteries in our very beloved viennese nature conservation area: Lobau, which is part of the national parc Danube-Auen, has been a protected area since 1978 and is our favourite playground for Citizen Science Adventures.
During the "Long Night of Research" (Lange Nacht der Forschung) in Vienna Austria at the Museum of Natural History (NHM) we did not only meet with Irmgard Greilhuber from the Citizen Science project Mycodata from our last Episode of "Let's meet Citizen Science", we also got to meet Silke Schweiger and her project Herpetofauna by the NHM.
From 3rd to 5th of June 2018, the ECSA Conference 2018 and the general assembly of the European Citizen Science Association takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. As members of ECSA and platform for Citizen Science Apps we for sure take part during the whole time.
After running on the SPOTTERON platform since september 2016, Anslagstavlan (which even had a SPOTTERON designed logo), has ended and will therefore also leave our platform. We want to commemorate the project a little with this entry in our blog.
Today we released the SPOTTERON platform update 2.1.4 for all Android and iOS apps and interactive maps.
During the "Long Night of Research" (Lange Nacht der Forschung) in Vienna Austria at the Museum of Natural History (NHM) we met with Irmgard Greilhuber from the Citizen Science project Mycodata by the Austrian Mycological Society ÖMG. Irmgard is presenting the project and how Citizen Scientists can participate by submitting observations of mushrooms and fungi.
We talked to Thomas Hübner from the Central Station for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) during the "Long Night of Research" in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria about the new phenology Citizen Science project "Nature's Calendar" about the the 10 phenological seasons in the project and what Citizen Scientists can observe in the Citizen Science App for Android and IOS.
Not every citizen science project has the need for own custom smartphone apps. Starting with April 2018, we offer a light-weight SPOTTERON package for Citizen Science projects, which provides an innovative web tool for desktop browsers..
Since the European Geosciences Union EGU holds its anual meeting in Vienna, Austria, we took the opportunity to catch up with Crowdwater, a Citizen Science project about hydrology and water levels of rivers, soil moisture and stream spotting, running on the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform.
We are really happy to present to you: the very first CITIZEN SCIENCE ADVENTURE! The idea has been lingering in our heads for quite some time now and we were finally able to get this new and exciting project started. The kick-off was made by our beloved Philipp Jonathan with a quick introduction to phenology and a common snowdrop he spotted in the Nature's Calendar app in a viennese parc this weekend.
SPOTTERON goes Australia! We are happy to announce that we are giving away a customised geo-locatable free Citizen Science app among all members of the Australian Citizen Science Association that take part in the competition and tell us how their proposed geo-locatable citizen science app will increase scientific knowledge.
A new feature is ready for use by all Citizen Science projects running on the SPOTTERON platform: Spot Statistics. The observation of change over time plays an important role in many Citizen Science projects, from hydrology, land coverage or phenology. In the CitSci project "Crowdwater", running on SPOTTERON, Citizen Scientist observe the change of water levels in streams and rivers. As an extension to the Citizen Science smartphone apps, we just released a new feature which introduces a new statistic panel in the detail view of a spot.
This year has been a big step (and with the release of the community package more like a giant leap) for the SPOTTERON Citizen Science Platform, and thanks to your help and interest, we can now offer a mobile and interactive channel for every CitSci project out there.
The Sparkling Science Projekt "NaturVerrückt" ("CrazyNature"), currently running on the SPOTTERON Citizen Science Platform, is going to be relaunched and extended in the next months. The new Top Citizen Science-Projektes „Naturkalender“ is all about Phenology and Citizen Scientists can observe the development of various plant species via Smartphone App for Science.
We now provide a full feature community included in all Citizen Science projects running on the SPOTTERON platform. The new milestone version makes Citizen Science not fully mobile but also immersive. Imagine the potential of social interaction built directly into your science project - that's what SPOTTERON TWO is all about..
Through comments, users are able to interact with the spots directly in app in realtime. Posting comments is an important tool for both users and project teams, increasing the level of activity throughout the project and to provide information or make suggestions at observations. Below every spot in the Citizen Science app, users can find a tab with the comment section for observation-related comments.
Citizen Science is also about communication. With the upcoming direct message feature we release the first part of a series of SPOTTERON extensions, bringing projects and participants closer together..
Who are the Citizen Scientists? Which profession or education do they have? Why are they participating in my Citizen Science project? With the new user profiles, these questions are a central element in the Citizen Science Systems SPOTTERON. The Citizen Scientists can now extend their user account with background information directly in the smartphone apps. Additionally, users can upload their own profile picture - because Citizen Science is also a personal matter.
We are very happy to announce that a major milestone for the SPOTTERON Citizen Science System has been reached. During the last months, we worked hard to put the underlaying technology on a completly new basis. With SPOTTERON 1.0 we now can provide you with a modern environment, fully specialized for the use in Citizen Science projects and ready for the future of mobile technology.
We just want to say Merry Christmas and a big thank you for this exciting year full of #CitizenScience and cool projects to run. SPOTTERON has gone a big step forward, becoming a sophisticated tool for Citizen Science and Environment Protection projects in international use. We are looking forward to 2017 with already upcoming App releases, but until then: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
In the 80ties, NASA collaborated with the Associated Contractors of America (ALCA) to research which plants are best for filtering air and reducing the amount of various chemicals. Here is the Link to the complete study: Clean Air study - and the lovethegarden.com Community did put up this inforgraphic as a perfect guide for which plants you should cultivate at home and at your office. Our advise? All of them! SPOTTERON loves jungle:)
The hype continues: millions of people worldwide are taking their smartphones, go out and hunt down virtual spieces called Pokemons. And those people are not just the hard core gamers or the pokemon fans out there - the phenomon reaches out far.
Since 2014, we are providing services for science projects and institutions with a strong focus on design, technical professionality and reliablity. Trusted by universities, institutions and stakeholders across Europe and beyond, we are creating custom online solutions for science and Citizen Science applications.
Currently in Barcelona, Spain, the yearly European Citizen Science Association summit is taking place. As not only an interested person in science and ecology but also as founder of SPOTTERON, events like this always result in following the various posts, tweets and streams online the whole days. At #ecsabcn In her keynote, Libby Hepborn from the Australian Citizen Science Association mentioned a something, which immediatly grabbed my attention.
@CSAustria also tweeted that statement:
"Libby Hepburn @CitSciOZ would like a "tripadvisor" for #citizenscience tools."