Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Project Noah: Citizen Science

You may have used Waze before. It is a mobile app that aggregrates user driving data to provide community traffic updates and directions. The app was so successful that Google acquired it for over one billion dollars!

This approach of thousands, even millions, of everyday people providing useful information through their phone is transforming the way we collect and use data. One burgeoning area in education is the idea of citizen scientist. Students using mobile apps to collect data (e.g. weather, pollution, noise) and send this data to national science organizations who use this large sample data. If you are looking for a cool app to start with check out Project Noah. This app enables students to conduct outdoor field studies. They can take pictures, tag pictures, and share pictures of local flora and fauna, which is also networked in a larger database to show distribution of these species.