Authors: Paul Chatterton¹ and Linda See².
Citizen science and crowdsourcing have become increasingly popular ways of involving citizens in scientific research and for carrying out a variety of micro-tasks. There are many examples of successful citizen science projects and crowdsourcing platforms including the LandMapp project for community-based land tenure mapping; Moabi, which allows citizens to report illegal logging in the Congo jungles, (both of which have been supported by IIASA and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)); and Geo-Wiki, a tool for visualization, crowdsourcing and validation of global land cover, developed at IIASA. This talk will provide a brief overview of citizen science and crowdsourcing followed by the main achievements and lessons learned from the LandMap, Moabi, and Geo-Wiki projects. A number of challenges remain such as how to move citizen participation from data collection to environmental stewardship, and how to scale up these efforts to tap into the large citizen networks and initiatives that are currently ongoing, for example, WWF’s Earth hour, which reaches a billion people. We will discuss these and other challenges in light of new opportunities in climate funding and other new sources of private funding, for green businesses, for instance.
Dr. Linda See has a PhD in spatial applications of fuzzy logic from the School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK, where she taught for 11 years as a senior lecturer in Computational Geography and GIS. She has an MSc and BSc in physical geography and environmental management from McMaster University and the University of Toronto, Canada. In between her MSc and PhD, she spent one year working at the Max Planck Institute for Atmospheric Sciences in Germany, followed by four years at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Italy on agrometeorology and early warning for food security.
See’s research interests include artificial intelligence-based methods (neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, agent-based modeling), GIS, and more recently, gaming and crowdsourcing. As part of the IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program she is now working with Steffen Fritz on Geo-Wiki and land cover validation issues. She is an active member of the Geo-Wiki team and has worked on a number of crowdsourcing aspects including quality issues, community building, and a branch of Geo-Wiki concerned with validation of urban land cover.