Abstract: The development of the geospatial web (GeoWeb) over the past decade opened up opportunities for collaborative mapping and large scale data collection at unprecedented scales. Projects such as OpenStreetMap, which engage hundreds of thousands of volunteers in different aspects of mapping physical and human-made objects, to eBird, which records millions of bird observations from…

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Abstract: This article summarizes the Citizen Cyberlab (CCL) Summit, which took place at University of Geneva on 17-18th September 2015, and introduces the special issue on “Learning and Creativity in Citizen Science”. As the final event of a 3-year EU FP7 CCL project, the Summit sought to disseminate project results and reflect on the issue…

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Excerpt: Our bill on citizen science (that started with my briefing the awesome AAAS fellow Rose Mutiso in Sen Coons’ office in early 2014) was incorporated into the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (COMPETES) (see Sec 402), which is now on its way for signing by the President. Section 402 makes clear that federal agencies may use crowdsourcing…

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Excerpt: Back in February, seismologists at UC Berkeley released MyShake, an app that passively monitors for seismic activity, both watching for earthquakes and warning users if one is underway. In the months since its introduction, the app has outperformed its creators’ expectations, detecting over 200 earthquakes in more than ten countries. The app has received…

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Editor’s Choice: Often cited as the longest-running citizen science effort, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) returns next week for its 117th season. This article illustrates the excitement of a particular, local community, while also depicting the bigger picture of CBC’s longevity, global scalability, and relevance to conservation. Taking this opportunity to reflect on CBC’s legacy, here is a…

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Children learn how science works mainly from fact-filled textbooks. The wider public experiences scientific discovery second-hand, through best-seller books, newspapers and television, as well as online formats like science blogs and TED Talks. Even for many undergraduate science students, the majority of hands-on experience comes from lab exercises which aim to support textbook learning, rather…

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