Mobile app and platform development in citizen science

Sturm, Ulrike GND

In the past two decades citizen science is increasingly perceived and acknowledged. However data quality concerns, occur when data are provided by many, mostly anonymous people. Data produced by volunteers can have high quality, depending on task difficulty and volunteer experience. Therefore it is especially important to use and develop suitable methods and data collection tools that support participants. Meanwhile digital technologies are more and more used for data collection and management. Hence support for planning, design and data management of mobile apps and platforms in the citizen science community is needed. We developed 43 recommendations during two workshops, where citizen science practitioners with experience in mobile application and web-platform development and implementation came together [1]. I will present these recommendations and demonstrate their implementation using the example of the mobile app “Naturblick”. The smartphone app “Naturblick” was developed with a user centred approach and is being continuously improved based on users’ feedback of both the content and technology. Users are able to identify animals and plants and share observations. For species identification we developed auditory and visual pattern recognition tools and multi-access identification keys for animals and plants. As part of the citizen science project “Forschungsfall Nachtigall” (nightingale research case) participants record nightingale songs with “Naturblick”. The recordings are analysed in regard to song dialects and habitat preferences.


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Sturm, Ulrike: Mobile app and platform development in citizen science. Jena 2018.

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