New features - more Citizen Science | the autumn newsletter by SPOTTERON
SPOTTERON AUTUMN UPDATE OFFLINE MAPS, TOP SPOTS & META INFOS FÜR CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJEKTE
During the summer the development of the SPOTTERON platform for Citizen Science progressed more steps forward. 3 new extensions for all apps on the platform have been finished in the past season:
OFFLINE MAPS & SPOTS
Citizen Science is often taking place, where connectivity signals are getting weaker. Especially during field trips or hikes it can be helpful to have parts of the map saved on your own smartphone. The new extension called "Offline maps & spots" does exactly that. In a new panel in a project's app, Citizen Scientists can define map areas, enter a custom name and save them locally to their phone.
In addition, the extension offers the option to download existing observations in that area or let users save single spots manually for having them also present in the app when there is no internet connection available.
To make the download of maps possible, we have set up a new professional map-service, which is rendering the detailed maps based on OpenStreetMap data while enabling bulk-downloads by the users without licensing issues or user-tracking.
Important aspects of running a Citizen Science project are the long-term motivation of the users and the data quality of the submissions. When Citizen Scientists contribute high quality data, they should receive some feedback for it as recognition and reward. The new "Top Spots" feature allows project administrators to highlight good observations in the Citizen Science app to provide this kind of feedback not only to one user, but to the whole community.
For projects which aim for chronological observations, this feature can also be used to highlight particular locations and motivate the Citizen Scientists to contribute new observations there.
Existing spots in the project can be set to "Top Spot" directly in the administration interface. In realtime, the according spots are then displayed with a star or a custom designed icon in the project's apps.
Many projects use selection lists in the dialog for adding new data to the project, e.g. for species classification. The new "Meta Informations" allow projects to display additional content in those lists, e.g. for latin names of species.
As it is always our design approach for new extensions, this feature can additionally be used in a wide range of appliances to display text strings like short descriptions or category-related notes for the Citizen Scientists.
SPOTTERON AUTUMN-NEWS NEWS, FORUMS AND MANUALS
A new internal area on our website now is offerning a forum for all project scientists and administrators for direct communication and networking. We also use the new forum to inform about upcoming features and new releases. By providing this new platform, we open up the ongoing development process of SPOTTERON further to all participating projects and foster synergies, discussion and enable direct feedback loops by the projects partner institutions.
CITIZEN SCIENCE MANUALS
We not only provide custom smartphone apps, interactive maps and modern webdesign for projects, but also support the Citizen Science apps on the platform by creating promotion materials and media assets on a regular basis. Since summer, we also include a 2-page instruction manual in all SPOTTERON packages. The manual gives a short overview on how to use the Citizen Science apps and their core features. It can be distributed freely by the projects.
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" and the "Senckenberg - world of biodiversity" - We have been on location with an info stand about the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform and held a session with a Q&A section about applied data protection and security for Citizen Science project.
Here is a short video clip from our impressions at the ForumCS:
JOIN UP FOR CITIZEN SCIENCE YOUR PROJECT ON SPOTTERON
Your own Citizen Science project should run on a stable and reliable basis - SPOTTERON is developed by Citizen Scientists for Citizen Science and provides a modern and innovative platform for your custom Citizen Science apps and interactive maps for websites - all bundled into fixed-price packages with maintenance and regular updates.