Public Domain

Project of the Week #14: SPOTTERON

This week, we're not assuming you're a project volunteer ... we're asking if you have your own idea for a citizen science project.

What does this project do?
SPOTTERON is a platform to build citizen science websites and apps. Your project may also be about environmental protection or smart cities - in any case, it's any app that invites citizens to gather and record data about their surroundings and talk to each other while doing so.

What do I have to do?
Get in touch with them to talk about what you want to do! They have a new Call for Proposals. You'd start by contacting them, filling out a short form and arranging to talk with them what you want to do. There is a regular monthly fee, which SPOTTERON considers more ethical than, for example, regular advertising (which involves data tracking on participants), but they do the design and maintenance of a potentially very large platform. Examples of projects that use their platform are wide-ranging, from Crowdwater to StreetArt.

Where can I find out more?
SPOTTERON'sWhat We Do and Why We Do It pages
Their blog
Twitter: @SPOTTERON
Facebook: Spotteron

What’s the Citizen Science Project of the Week?
Citizen Science Project of the Week is a regular Monday feature at Doing It Together Science. What project would you like to see featured? Please let us know on the contact form, Facebook page or email us at info@togetherscience.eu. Please put "Project of the Week" in the subject line and send us a link to the project, some information about it and why you'd like it featured. If you want us to, we'll credit you and tag you on Facebook!

More details
Recently, SPOTTERON released a major update and blogged about it with the question: "What if Citizen Science gets social?" Their new features allow more interaction between volunteers, such as comments on each other's posts and following what other volunteers are doing. Communities in citizen science are very important and, indeed, being studied here! (Indeed, while we're on this topic, the idea that the best scientists are lone geniuses is basically a myth - scientists work in groups and improve their ideas by sharing it and bouncing ideas and knowledge off each other.)

It's worth checking out the features SPOTTERON offers, not only in community aspects, but also such as mapsand "spots" or entries about a particular object or place where the volunteer enters the data. The platform is also available in several languages (the team is based in Vienna, Austria).

A news story about one of SPOTTERON's apps, on a sad but important subject - road kill - tells the story of how there are far too many roads for scientists to study; therefore, citizens are asked to record animal deaths on roads to find out where it happens and hopefully why. While it will take time for this to lead to saving animal lives, it is a beginning: they want "to sensitise participants to roadkill and habitat fragmentation and ... get information about this phenomena from the public."