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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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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Abstract: Citizen science has a long history in the ecological sciences and has made substantial contributions to science, education, and society. Developments in information technology during the last few decades have created new opportunities for citizen science to engage ever larger audiences of volunteers to help address some of ecology’s most pressing issues, such as…

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This is what I love about citizen science. Because of its distributed nature, the sorts of questions that can be tackled are as varied as the multitude of ways in which humans commonly interact with the world around them. So it shouldn’t be surprising that we can use citizen science to gather data on the behavior…

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The Practical Farmers of Iowa have released their latest study on the effects of apple cider vinegar supplementation in feeder pigs. Apple cider vinegar is held to being a health tonic that promotes beneficial gut bacteria, improves digestion of feedstuffs, enhances performance, and helps decrease parasite load. PFI cooperator, Tom Frantzen, supplemented three groups of…

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I was on a call with Teresa Murphy-Skorzova, Community Growth Manager for OpenSignal, an app that uses crowd-sourcing to aggregate cell phone signals and WiFi strength data throughout the world. Teresa began to explain how OpenSignal maps signal strength and how this process contrasts the way cell phone networks map it. “We aren’t following a…

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Recent infrared observations of a star that once showed a pattern of weird dimming have turned up no anomalous readings, astronomers say – and that supports the view that a comet blitz rather than the construction of an alien megastructure was behind the earlier observations. The latest evidence, laid out in a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal…

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In honor of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference; the critical role that citizen science can play in understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. – LFF    Climate change is a very real problem facing our planet. The term “climate change” can cover a great many things, some natural and some man…

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