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Standard Information Models for Citizen Science Data

Ingo Simonis, Rob Atkinson and Bart de Lathouwer

(Submission #232)


Citizen science projects often fail to collect and document their data in standardized forms. Some projects design their own protocols, others use proprietary or disciplinary protocols. This presentation focuses on experiences made in five citizen science projects co-funded by the European Commission. Based on these experiences, the goal was to develop a common model for citizen science data for different sampling campaigns based on existing standards. The presentation outlines the fundamental structure of such a Citizen Science data profile. It uses existing standards such as OGC Sensor Web Enablement O&M, SensorML, and SweCommon together with TimeseriesML and GML-coverage.

The Citizen Science model developed herein reflects the current status quo in standardization of geospatial data produced in citizen science sampling campaigns. This status quo already allows the definition of a solid and semantically sound model. Nevertheless, interoperability can be further improved. Interoperability contracts and profiles allow to further simplify the sampling campaign definition process and enhance chances for common semantics across campaigns. This presentation describes the path ahead towards improved interoperability and enhanced ease of use for different citizen science data producers, consumers, survey designers, and quality managers.

Citizen Science data collection and exchange is not a streamlined and consistent process. Depending on the local settings and requirements, a number of aspects need to be decided upon:

How do data models look like that support reusability of citizen science data even in other than the original context?

How much information needs to be preserved and documented throughout citizen science data processing chains?

How can citizen science data be shared efficiently?

What level of semantics is required to ensure correct usage of citizen science data and how can it be realized?

What standards need to be considered in order to maximize reusability of citizen science data?

How can citizen science data be integrated with external data sets?

How do citizen science data quality assurance processes look like and how can they be documented?

How can citizen science data be made persistent and accessible (even beyond the lifetime of the original research project)?

These questions reflect the different perspectives of citizen science participants, e.g. data providers, survey designers, or data consumers. The presentation will provide answers to all of these.


Topic Area:  [1.2] Environmental monitoring and assessments
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   standards, citizen science, interoperability

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