Abstract: Volunteered geographic information (VGI) refers to the widespread creation and sharing of geographic information by private citizens, often through platforms such as online mapping tools, social media, and smartphone applications. VGI has shifted the ways information is created, shared, used and experienced, with important implications for applications of geospatial data, including emergency management. Detailed…

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When Aaron Swartz committed suicide in 2013, he was facing up to 35 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine for 13 felony counts related to violating copyright laws. Today the NY Southern District Court ordered the shut down of a website (Sci-Hub) run by Alexandra Elbakyan, a neuroscience graduate student from Kazakhstan, for…

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The Flint water crisis has caused all sorts of reflections on citizen science practice; this blog, from Scientific American, examines the broad range of science communication that attempts to make dialogue between public and (professional) scientists a two-way street. –Chris Comedian Lily Tomlin once asked, “Why is it when we talk to God we’re said…

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Abstract: Novel and more affordable technologies are allowing new actors to engage increasingly in the monitoring of hydrological systems and the assessment of water resources. This trend may shift data collection from a small number of mostly formal institutions (e.g., statutory monitoring authorities, water companies) toward a much more dynamic, decentralized, and diverse network of data…

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Human-machine collaboration is the key to solving the most complex issues of the world, an editorial published recently in the journal Science suggested. Championing “human computation”— a system that combines the artificial intelligence of machines and talents of humans, the authors claim the system could successfully tackle complex issues like climate change and geopolitical conflicts….

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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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