As an overarching goal, the project aims to foster utilization of ESA’s Earth Observation (EO) missions through Citizen Science (CS) approach. The project will provide a better understanding of how ESA can better utilize CS to support its EO missions. Outcomes of the project are expected to support ESA in its science, EO exploitation and educational activities.
In particular, the aims of the project are to:
(1) Explore new ways and methodologies to apply CS to EO by collecting and evaluating experiences from past and current CS+EO success stories.
(2) Demonstrate the value of CS for EO by implementing three pilot projects. The pilots focus on forest biomass analysis, data management in emergencies, and water quality monitoring, and they are diverse in nature (topic), scope (geographic area), and methodological approach.
- The forest biomass analysis pilot applies a mobile phone tool for measuring forest inventory data in-situ and satellite based measurements of the forest area to compute the forest biomass in the area.
- The emergency data management pilot focuses in collecting in-situ measurements in disaster areas, derived using mobile devices, and combining them with the satellite data in order to better manage the aid and recovery activities. Because disasters are unpredictable, we implement pilot using historical observations from the Typhoon Haiyan as it hit the Philippines in November 2013.
- In the water quality monitoring pilot, citizens around the Baltic Sea area contributing to the algae situational picture by collecting, with the help of a mobile application, observations about algae (mainly cyanobacteria), which are then compared with the satellite based algae products.
(3) Develop a concise strategy and a roadmap for better usage of CS in ESA EO exploitation and educational activities in wider perspective. Specially, explore the potential ways to scale up the pilot projects and ensure their sustainability.