Special Issue "Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building"

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sultan Kocaman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hacettepe University, Department of Geomatics Engineering, 06800 Beytepe Ankara, Turkey
Interests: Geospatial Technologies; Geoinformatics; Photogrammetry; Remote Sensing; Citizen Science
Dr. Sameer Saran
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Indian Space Research Organisation, 4 Kalidas Road, Dehradun Uttarakhand, India Pin - 248 001
Interests: Geoinformatics; 3D CityModels; Web GIS; Spatial Databases; Geospatial Modeling
Dr. Murat Durmaz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hacettepe University, Department of Geomatics Engineering, 06800 Beytepe Ankara, Turkey
Interests: Computer Science; Machine Learning; Precise Positioning and Navigation; Geospatial Data Analysis
Dr. A. Senthil Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing Campus, 4 Kalidas Road, Dehradun Uttarakhand, Pin - 248 001, India
Interests: Image Processing; Soft-computing; Calibration/Validation of Earth observation sensors; Capacity Building methods for Geospatial technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Citizen Science and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) are gaining importance with the ubiquitous use of mobile technologies. In this new era, ordinary citizens may contribute to scientific processes based on their interest and abilities. The activities they may contribute to range from biology to environmental monitoring to classification of galaxies, all of which have a spatio-temporal dimension. The increasing demands on this research agenda are encouraging scientists from diverse backgrounds to collaborate under the term of “Citizen Science (CitSci)”. Geospatial tools and technologies enable many CitSci projects and also benefit from them. Geospatial capacity building, which is one of the main focus areas of ISPRS Commission V on Education and Outreach, also benefits from these developments. We propose here a Special Issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information on Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building. This Special Issue emphasizes the increasing importance of citizen science in the scientific world as well as in supporting open science and open data for capacity building. We invite researchers to submit their works on Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building. Research articles on citizen science and VGI that emphasize capacity building efforts, data quality, web and mobile GIS, web-based sharing of resources, crowdsourcing data collection methods, and geo-gamification are most welcome.

Dr. Sultan Kocaman
Dr. Sameer Saran
Dr. Murat Durmaz
Dr. A. Senthil Kumar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Geospatial capacity building
  • VGI
  • Citizen science
  • Crowdsourcing
  • PPGIS (Public Participation Geographic Information System)
  • Citizen Cyberscience
  • Volunteered Computing, Passive sensing
  • Spatial Data Analytics
  • Mobile geodata collection technologies
  • Web and mobile GIS
  • Remote sensing
  • Web-based sharing of resources
  • Education and outreach through geospatial technologies
  • Data quality assurance and data verification
  • Geo-gamification

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Role of Maximum Entropy and Citizen Science to Study Habitat Suitability of Jacobin Cuckoo in Different Climate Change Scenarios
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(7), 463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10070463 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Recent advancements in spatial modelling and mapping methods have opened up new horizons for monitoring the migration of bird species, which have been altered due to the climate change. The rise of citizen science has also aided the spatiotemporal data collection with associated [...] Read more.
Recent advancements in spatial modelling and mapping methods have opened up new horizons for monitoring the migration of bird species, which have been altered due to the climate change. The rise of citizen science has also aided the spatiotemporal data collection with associated attributes. The biodiversity data from citizen observatories can be employed in machine learning algorithms for predicting suitable environmental conditions for species’ survival and their future migration behaviours. In this study, different environmental variables effective in birds’ migrations were analysed, and their habitat suitability was assessed for future understanding of their responses in different climate change scenarios. The Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) was selected as the subject species, since their arrival to India has been traditionally considered as a sign for the start of the Indian monsoon season. For suitability predictions in current and future scenarios, maximum entropy (Maxent) modelling was carried out with environmental variables and species occurrences observed in India and Africa. For modelling, the correlation test was performed on the environmental variables (bioclimatic, precipitation, minimum temperature, maximum temperature, precipitation, wind and elevation). The results showed that precipitation-related variables played a significant role in suitability, and through reclassified habitat suitability maps, it was observed that the suitable areas of India and Africa might decrease in future climatic scenarios (SSPs 2.6, 4.5, 7.0 and 8.5) of 2030 and 2050. In addition, the suitability and unsuitability areas were calculated (in km2) to observe the subtle changes in the ecosystem. Such climate change studies can support biodiversity research and improve the agricultural economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
CWDAT—An Open-Source Tool for the Visualization and Analysis of Community-Generated Water Quality Data
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(4), 207; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10040207 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Citizen science initiatives span a wide range of topics, designs, and research needs. Despite this heterogeneity, there are several common barriers to the uptake and sustainability of citizen science projects and the information they generate. One key barrier often cited in the citizen [...] Read more.
Citizen science initiatives span a wide range of topics, designs, and research needs. Despite this heterogeneity, there are several common barriers to the uptake and sustainability of citizen science projects and the information they generate. One key barrier often cited in the citizen science literature is data quality. Open-source tools for the analysis, visualization, and reporting of citizen science data hold promise for addressing the challenge of data quality, while providing other benefits such as technical capacity-building, increased user engagement, and reinforcing data sovereignty. We developed an operational citizen science tool called the Community Water Data Analysis Tool (CWDAT)—a R/Shiny-based web application designed for community-based water quality monitoring. Surveys and facilitated user-engagement were conducted among stakeholders during the development of CWDAT. Targeted recruitment was used to gather feedback on the initial CWDAT prototype’s interface, features, and potential to support capacity building in the context of community-based water quality monitoring. Fourteen of thirty-two invited individuals (response rate 44%) contributed feedback via a survey or through facilitated interaction with CWDAT, with eight individuals interacting directly with CWDAT. Overall, CWDAT was received favourably. Participants requested updates and modifications such as water quality thresholds and indices that reflected well-known barriers to citizen science initiatives related to data quality assurance and the generation of actionable information. Our findings support calls to engage end-users directly in citizen science tool design and highlight how design can contribute to users’ understanding of data quality. Enhanced citizen participation in water resource stewardship facilitated by tools such as CWDAT may provide greater community engagement and acceptance of water resource management and policy-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
Crowdsourcing without Data Bias: Building a Quality Assurance System for Air Pollution Symptom Mapping
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(2), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020046 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
Crowdsourcing is one of the spatial data sources, but due to its unstructured form, the quality of noisy crowd judgments is a challenge. In this study, we address the problem of detecting and removing crowdsourced data bias as a prerequisite for better-quality open-data [...] Read more.
Crowdsourcing is one of the spatial data sources, but due to its unstructured form, the quality of noisy crowd judgments is a challenge. In this study, we address the problem of detecting and removing crowdsourced data bias as a prerequisite for better-quality open-data output. This study aims to find the most robust data quality assurance system (QAs). To achieve this goal, we design logic-based QAs variants and test them on the air quality crowdsourcing database. By extending the paradigm of urban air pollution monitoring from particulate matter concentration levels to air-quality-related health symptom load, the study also builds a new perspective for citizen science (CS) air quality monitoring. The method includes the geospatial web (GeoWeb) platform as well as a QAs based on conditional statements. A four-month crowdsourcing campaign resulted in 1823 outdoor reports, with a rejection rate of up to 28%, depending on the applied. The focus of this study was not on digital sensors’ validation but on eliminating logically inconsistent surveys and technologically incorrect objects. As the QAs effectiveness may depend on the location and society structure, that opens up new cross-border opportunities for replication of the research in other geographical conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
Open Community-Based Crowdsourcing Geoportal for Earth Observation Products: A Model Design and Prototype Implementation
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010024 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 879
Abstract
Over the past few decades, geoportals have been considered as the key technological solutions for easy access to Earth observation (EO) products, and the implementation of spatial data infrastructure (SDI). However, less attention has been paid to developing an efficient model for crowdsourcing [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, geoportals have been considered as the key technological solutions for easy access to Earth observation (EO) products, and the implementation of spatial data infrastructure (SDI). However, less attention has been paid to developing an efficient model for crowdsourcing EO products through geoportals. To this end, a new model called the “Open Community-Based Crowdsourcing Geoportal for Earth Observation Products” (OCCGEOP) was proposed in this study. The model was developed based on the concepts of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and community-based geoportals using the latest open technological solutions. The key contribution lies in the conceptualization of the frameworks for automated publishing of standard map services such as the Web Map Service (WMS) and the Web Coverage Service (WCS) from heterogeneous EO products prepared by volunteers as well as the communication portion to request voluntary publication of the map services and giving feedback for quality assessment and assurance. To evaluate the feasibility and performance of the proposed model, a prototype implementation was carried out by conducting a pilot study in Iran. The results showed that the OCCGEOP is compatible with the priorities of the new generations of geoportals, having some unique features and promising performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Volunteer Data Contribution Activities: A Case Study of eBird
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(10), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9100597 - 11 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has great potential to reveal spatial and temporal dynamics of geographic phenomena. However, a variety of potential biases in VGI are recognized, many of which root from volunteer data contribution activities. Examining patterns in volunteer data contribution activities helps [...] Read more.
Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has great potential to reveal spatial and temporal dynamics of geographic phenomena. However, a variety of potential biases in VGI are recognized, many of which root from volunteer data contribution activities. Examining patterns in volunteer data contribution activities helps understand the biases. Using eBird as a case study, this study investigates spatial and temporal patterns in data contribution activities of eBird contributors. eBird sampling efforts are biased in space and time. Most sampling efforts are concentrated in areas of denser populations and/or better accessibility, with the most intensively sampled areas being in proximity to big cities in developed regions of the world. Reported bird species are also spatially biased towards areas where more sampling efforts occur. Temporally, eBird sampling efforts and reported bird species are increasing over the years, with significant monthly fluctuations and notably more data reported on weekends. Such trends are driven by the expansion of eBird and characteristics of bird species and observers. The fitness of use of VGI should be assessed in the context of applications by examining spatial, temporal and other biases. Action may need to be taken to account for the biases so that robust inferences can be made from VGI observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
A CitSci Approach for Rapid Earthquake Intensity Mapping: A Case Study from Istanbul (Turkey)
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(4), 266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9040266 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Nowadays several scientific disciplines utilize Citizen Science (CitSci) as a research approach. Natural hazard research and disaster management also benefit from CitSci since people can provide geodata and the relevant attributes using their mobile devices easily and rapidly during or after an event. [...] Read more.
Nowadays several scientific disciplines utilize Citizen Science (CitSci) as a research approach. Natural hazard research and disaster management also benefit from CitSci since people can provide geodata and the relevant attributes using their mobile devices easily and rapidly during or after an event. An earthquake, depending on its intensity, is among the highly destructive natural hazards. Coordination efforts after a severe earthquake event are vital to minimize its harmful effects and timely in-situ data are crucial for this purpose. The aim of this study is to perform a CitSci pilot study to demonstrate the usability of data obtained by volunteers (citizens) for creating earthquake iso-intensity maps in a short time. The data were collected after a 5.8 Mw Istanbul earthquake which occurred on 26 September 2019. Through the mobile app “I felt the quake”, citizen observations regarding the earthquake intensity were collected from various locations. The intensity values in the app represent a revised form of the Mercalli intensity scale. The iso-intensity map was generated using a spatial kriging algorithm and compared with the one produced by The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkey, empirically. The results show that collecting the intensity information via trained users is a plausible method for producing such maps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
Citizens’ Spatial Footprint on Twitter—Anomaly, Trend and Bias Investigation in Istanbul
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(4), 222; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9040222 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
Social media (SM) can be an invaluable resource in terms of understanding and managing the effects of catastrophic disasters. In order to use SM platforms for public participatory (PP) mapping of emergency management activities, a bias investigation should be undertaken with regard to [...] Read more.
Social media (SM) can be an invaluable resource in terms of understanding and managing the effects of catastrophic disasters. In order to use SM platforms for public participatory (PP) mapping of emergency management activities, a bias investigation should be undertaken with regard to the data related to the study area (urban, regional or national, etc.) to determine the spatial data dynamics. Thus, such determinations can be made on how SM can be used and interpreted in terms of PP. In this study, the city of Istanbul was chosen for social media data research area, as it is one of the most crowded cities in the world and expecting a major earthquake. The methodology for the data investigation is: 1. Obtain data and engage sampling, 2. Identify the representation and temporal biases in the data and normalize it in response to representation bias, 3. Identify general anomalies and spatial anomalies, 4. Manipulate the trend of the dataset with the discretization of anomalies and 5. Examine the spatiotemporal bias. Using this bias investigation methodology, citizen footprint dynamics in the city were determined and reference maps (most likely regional anomaly maps, representation maps, time-space bias maps, etc.) were produced. The outcomes of the study can be summarized in four steps. First, highly active users generate the majority of the data and removing this data as a general approach within a pseudo-cleaning process means concealing a large amount of data. Second, data normalization in terms of activity levels, changes the anomaly outcome resulting from diverse representation levels of users. Third, spatiotemporally normalized data present strong spatial anomaly tendency in some parts of the central area. Fourth, trend data is dense in the central area and the spatiotemporal bias assessments show the data density varies in terms of the time of day, day of week and season of the year. The methodology proposed in this study can be used to extract the unbiased daily routines of the social media data of the regions for the normal days and this can be referred for the emergency or unexpected event cases to detect the change or impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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Article
Eliciting Knowledge on Technical and Legal Aspects of Participatory Toponym Handling
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(11), 500; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi8110500 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
There has been increased collaboration between citizens and scientists to achieve common goals in scientific or geographic data collection, analysis, and reporting. Geospatial technology is leveraging the power of citizens in such efforts. Governments have been exploring participatory approaches. This situation should be [...] Read more.
There has been increased collaboration between citizens and scientists to achieve common goals in scientific or geographic data collection, analysis, and reporting. Geospatial technology is leveraging the power of citizens in such efforts. Governments have been exploring participatory approaches. This situation should be balanced by sharing knowledge and collaborative learning between stakeholders involved in the participatory activity. Training and education are enhanced by providing guidelines, sharing best practices, and developing toolkits. For toponym handling, a generic framework and capacity building are needed to increase public awareness and enable citizen toponymists. This paper addresses issues around citizen involvement in increasing toponymic knowledge through citizen science and geospatial capacity building. First, we examined the current practice of toponym handling and developed a generic framework. We then used stakeholder feedback and other resources to modify the framework for Indonesian use. Second, we conducted collaborative learning to share information and bridge the knowledge gaps among multiple stakeholders. Third, we applied insights and lessons learned from these activities to develop ideas, suggestions, and action plans to implement participatory toponym handling in Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Geospatial Capacity Building)
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