Citizen Science Platform

The ODISSEI Roadmap project, which consists of four integrated work streams (Data Facility, Observatory, Laboratory and Hub), is reaching the phase where tasks are being finalized. Within the Laboratory work stream, task 3.5: Citizen Science Platform is now closed succesfully. To learn more about this task and its significance, you can read the task summary below or click on the link to access the full end report on our ODISSEI Zenodo community page.


Task summary

Citizen science projects aim to involve ordinary citizens in the design, collection and analysis of scientific data. In the Netherlands, many different projects have been set up around citizen science, for example, to count birds or bees in the garden, to count and picture the extent of plastic pollution, or produce a database of marital documents.

Although citizen science projects can make a big impact for citizen scientists, and provide valuable data, citizen science data are underused by both social scientists and humanities researchers as well as policy makers. One of the reasons for this is that citizen science data are often very selective. Observations are only made by volunteers, and many areas remain unobserved. Citizen science can be made more interesting by linking them to other data. This can often be done by geographical linkages. Hotspots of plastic pollution can then for example be understood by their surroundings (the built environment), traffic movements in the area, or the number and type of residents living in this area.

The work under this ODISSEI task produced software to make geographic linkages to data from OpenStreetmaps, which contains a lot of geographical context information, and produced an example paper showing how such linkages can be used to widen the use of citizen science data.

Project team Citizen Science Platform: Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University – Task leader), Erik-Jan van Kesteren (Utrecht University).

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