Today is an important day for participation and innovation in the federal government. The White House officially launched the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit, a tool that provides information and resources to help federal agencies use the power of public participation to help solve scientific and societal problems. The launch of this toolkit solidifies the White…

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Abstract: Citizen science is key to the success of Future Earth Initiatives for urban sustainability. Emerging research in urban land teleconnections highlights the benefits of incorporating theoretical insights from political ecology and participatory action research. Reviewing some of the forces propelling the recent popularity of citizen science, this article outlines challenges to processes of collaboration…

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This paper from the ever-prolific Cornell Lab of Ornithology team describes the creation of a new dataset of annotated images. Those interested in volunteer citizen science might be interested in another conclusion: We find that citizen scientists are significantly more accurate than Mechanical Turkers at zero cost. –CJL Abstract: We introduce tools and methodologies to…

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The arrival of ‘ash dieback’ in 2012, a fatal disease that aggressively infects trees, in the UK was big news, and generated a range of citizen science responses. This thoughtful article, from Judith Tsouvalis at the University of Nottingham, looks at the sometimes awkward relationship of such programs with language used by those concentrating on…

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Crowdsourcing. We talk about it. We educate people how to use it. But it is also an overused and underappreciated word, according to Forbes. Its influence is now spawning to government affairs thanks to the Internet. In 2013, President Obama called out to the federal agencies to use Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing to tap the wisdom of…

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Smorball

Smorball tackles a major challenge for digital libraries: poor output from Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software significantly hampers full-text searching of digitized material. When first scanned, the pages of digitized books and journals are merely image files, making the pages unsearchable and virtually unusable. While OCR converts page images to searchable, machine encoded text, historic…

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Jellyfish abundance can inform what is happening in the oceans on a larger scale, and researchers are asking citizen scientists to post jellyfish observations on a special website. “Citizen science … is valuable because it is multiplied with such large numbers. To tap into that pool of has huge advantages,” said Steven Haddock, a researcher at the University…

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Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Waikato are seeking the assistance of everyday “citizen scientists” to help complete a huge new WWI history project called Measuring the ANZACs (measuringtheanzacs.org). The researchers would like to see citizen scientists of all ages participate so that they can release the records of men who…

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If you’ve lived in a city, you’ve probably encountered something like New York City’s Tenth Avenue after a rainstorm: a place that was so windy, the ground is littered with broken umbrellas. Why don’t we use that impressive windpower? The answer lies partially in technology–the turbines able to take shifting, multidirectional urban winds were only…

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Thanks to technological advances in sensing technologies our urban environment is equipped with tiny but powerful sensors that generate a vast amount of data. This data is being used by companies, governments, and research institutions to monitor, analyze, and optimize our everyday life. Following the OpenData movement, this data is often available for the broader…

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