Senior Developer at the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group (UCL). More...
Published: May 5, 2013 8:26:40 AM
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Published: Apr 23, 2013 12:08:04 PM
Current initiatives and research projects:
EveryAware is an EU Citizen Science project intending to integrate environmental monitoring, awareness enhancement and behavioral change by creating a new technological platform combining sensing technologies, networking applications and data-processing tools. The idea is to use mobile technologies to collect, analyse changes in behaviour and visualise local environmental information...more.
Benefits of Google Earth Tours in education
The use of virtual globes, and in particular Google Earth, is increasingly popular in both formal and informal education. Basic animated tours authored with Google Earth are relatively easy to produce and those produced so far have been educationally valid in visualization terms. However, an earlier study revealed that students tend to use tours passively. This project aims at investigating how Google Earth Tours (GETs) can be best combined with related student activities, i.e. how they can be integrated in an Active Learning approach. The research project is based on both qualitative and quantitative analysis of data gathered during an experiment where the same teaching material will be presented in three different forms. Students in the first group will follow a guided tour explaining a specific geographical concept, but they will not have the possibility of freely exploring the virtual landscape. Students in the second and third group, on the contrary, will be tasked with an exercise where they have to actively explore the virtual landscape looking for clues (with a heavy guidance for the second group and no guidance at all for the third group), after having followed the same guided tour as the first group. Among other methods, this study will make use of eye-tracking in order to identify which elements on screen and which features of the virtual landscape attract user’s attention. The outcomes of the projects will be specifically tailored for teachers: we will produce guidelines and podcasts to offer concrete guidance on how to integrate Google Earth Tours into an Active Learning approach. The project, led by Richard Treves (Southampton U.) and Muki Haklay, is funded by Google through a Faculty Research Award.
Science has no borders
The aim of this initiative is to engage with people from communities in London and introduce them to methods and techniques that will enable them to investigate the world around them. Through this initiative community researchers will be introduced to several adaptable and modifiable DIY tools and techniques (such as Balloon Mapping) as well as research methods with which they can carry out an investigation of issues that matter to them; it is science by citizens where people take ownership of their project, the data produced and its dissemination. Science has no borders is based on and approach to science that questions the state of things to create and enrich our knowledge of the world rather than simply serving as a tool for the authorities or 'experts'. The DIY approach emphasises that technology is something anyone can develop - our approach here is to make scientific research something anyone can do well. Throughout the process they will receive guidance and technical support from both the ExCiteS team and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. This DIY approach is bound only by the limitations of the tools and the imagination of community researchers. Science has no borders is funded through the UCL Inclusion Awards.
Geographic visualisation for non-literate citizen scientists
Current Geographic Information System (GIS) requires significant education and knowledge to operate. Our overall objective is to develop innovative GIS tools that can be used by semi-nomadic and non-literate indigenous communities. Thus, we will develop portable, interactive, icon-based and intelligent digital maps that indigenous people can use to monitor environmental changes. At the same time, the maps will serve to present inhabitants’ concerns to others in scientifically validated and readily intelligible ways. The project emerges from needs expressed by indigenous Pygmy groups in the Congo Basin, who already participate in environmental data collection, including monitoring illegal activities such as poaching and deforestation, to have greater control over their local areas. In response to these needs, we will provide a framework, tools and methodologies that enable them to analyse the information they collect in a variety of ways that will help them to understand environmental change and so facilitate informed decision-making. The project will improve our understanding of how technology can assist non-literate people in rapidly changing environments; explore new ways for lay users to interact with GIS; and explore the potential for using geotechnologies to facilitate anthropological research on conceptions of the environment.
The Study of Citizen Science
There is a very wide variety of citizen science projects, with each project having different goals, methodologies, levels of involvement and a diversity of stakeholders. The study of citizen science seeks to document these differences and uncover the frameworks or assumptions that underpin them. For example there are environmental activists who use citizen science to monitor their environment, and there are local governments who use citizen science to set up community based monitoring. Simultaneously there may be scientists in the area who set up a citizen science project to get the data necessary to advance their understanding of ecosystem changes. The environmental activists, the local government and the scientists may be working in the same geographical area, with similar tools but have tremendous differences in processes and outcomes of the research. It can be argued that they all apply a different epistemology as well, even though all adhere to the scientific method.
The study of citizen science can uncover unresolved issues about what counts as knowledge, understand when citizen science research is accepted as scientifically valid and what ethical codes guide the projects. Whilst building a “science of citizen science” based on research and reflection, the project seeks to engage in a discussion around the ethics of citizen science and the place of science in society. Mostly, it seeks to understand what the implications of citizen science are on western scientific thinking and practices how citizen science challenges or affirms core assumptions in science. The study of citizen science is a multi-disciplinary undertaking which integrates the fields of anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history, psychology and science and technology studies.
Project Description: The UK’s suburbs are overlooked and poorly understood. The word ‘suburb’ betrays their perceived status as places that are subordinate to the centre. Urban policy has tended to treat them simply as extensions of towns and cities and as places where nothing changes, rather than as separate entities we can learn from, with their own particular characteristics. The Adaptable Suburbs project is seeking to understand why the networks of street and spaces, in twenty of the London suburbs already studied, work well. Extensive, multi-disciplinary analysis is being used to explore the influence of social interactions and spatial movement on the economic vitality and adaptability of places. Key techniques include space syntax analysis of street network accessibility; historical analysis of change over time; street-level ethnography, interviewing the people who use and trade in each centre and mapping their spatial networks; and detailed town centre analysis using socio-economic data...more.
Page last modified on 25 dec 12 06:50