Field Operations

Citizen Science Resources

*** Updated January 2020 ***

Data is critical. It drives decisions. It drives science. It drives us forward. To get the robust data sets needed, researchers increasingly look to citizens for contributions.  With the prevalence of tablets and mobile devices, people across the globe can act as observers collecting information for important projects that expand scientific understanding.  This site provides resources to help you get started with creating applications for citizen science projects, analyzing data and communicating results.  Technologies are divided into several usage patterns: citizen engagement and open data, field data collection and quality control, project status; and communicating results.

Latest News

Global Citizen Science Effort Marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of Earth Day, (Esri Blog October 22, 2019)

Glacier National Park’s Common Loon Citizen Science Project is utilizing Survey123 for ArcGIS. Read all about it. U.S. National Park Service article, December 2019.

The Golden Rule and Citizen Engagement (ArcUser Winter 2019)

App for Citizen Engagement and Data Sharing

ArcGIS Hub/Open Datatwo way engagement to connect with citizens.

Featured ArcGIS Hub App – Zwolle Netherlands SensHagen project citizens share measurements of air quality, precipitation, evaporation, heat and wind.  The site provides citizens means to signup and participate.  Created by Climate Actief Zwolle, together with other parties from its network.

Apps for Field Data Collection and Quality Control

Survey 123 for ArcGIS – easily create forms for data collection via web browser or as a native app.  Form based on XLSForm specification. Get Started with Survey123 for ArcGIS free lessons available.

Featured Survey 123 for ArcGIS App- Arizona Water Watch (AZWW) Mobile App citizen science app to protect Arizona’s waterbodies. Created by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).  Read more about this app in this article Using GIS to Bring Citizens and Scientists Together by Monica Pratt, ArcUser Editor (ArcUser, Spring 2018) and this Arizona Department of Environmental Quality press release: Innovative App Helps Citizen Scientists Protect Arizona Water Quality.  See how it works!

ArcGIS QuickCapture – native app to quickly record field observations while standing or in a moving vehicle.  Read how King County, Washington supports the control of invasive plants with the ArcGIS QuickCapture app.  Esri Case Study, 2019

Citizen Science Reporter– configure ArcGIS Online web application template that allows members of the public to report sightings of one or more species in a web browser on their tablet, laptop or smart phone.

Featured Citizen Science Reporter App – Invasive Japanese Knotweed Reporter in Ireland – crowdsource reporting on location of this invasive species. Created by Waterford City & County Council, Ireland. Project Details from Waterford City & County Council

AppStudio for ArcGIS Quick Report – create a citizen engagement native app that allows users to capture an observation and submit it to an online service.

Wildlife Photo Survey – provide a simple to use application for volunteers or the general public to review captured images of wildlife.

App for Checking and Monitoring Project Data:

Crowdsource Managerusers within an organization review observations submitted through the Citizen Science Reporter or any data collection application created with ArcGIS.

Apps to Communicate, Visualize and Share Citizen Science Data:

Story Map web apps communicate & visualize results.

Featured Citizen Science Story Map App – HERON: A look back at 2017 Many Thanks to all HERON volunteers who monitored colonies, and to landowners who allowed access. Created by Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries Wildlife, Heron Observation Network of Maine (HERON)


Additional Example Citizen Science Projects

Additional Story Map Examples

Esri and National Audubon Society

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Citizen Science Articles

Citizen Science Presentations and Videos

Additional Citizen Science Community Resources

Citizen Science Resources for Educators

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This post was originally published September 22, 2015 and has been updated.

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