Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS)


From Non-Literate Data Collection to Intelligent Maps

Congo hunter-gatherers interacting with mobile data collection application designed and developed by ExCiteS

We aim to design, develop, evaluate and deploy a generic platform that enables people with no or limited literacy – in the strict and broader technological sense – to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, and analyse (spatial) data. The platform is and will be used in a variety of concrete projects, often related to environmental monitoring. Ultimately the goal is to let communities build so-called Community Memories: evolving, shared representations of the state of their environment, their relationship with it, and any threats it faces.

We started by developing tools to allow non-literate people to engage in participatory mapping. To extend participation beyond mere data collection we plan to introduce novel approaches to visualisation, analysis and editing of spatio-temporal data, comprehensible for non-literate users – a concept we call Intelligent Maps.

This project involves a variety of disciplines, such as Human-Computer Interaction, Anthropology, Software Engineering, and GIScience.

Involved People 


  • Dr Matthias Stevens

Selected publications

Media mentions

Project information