New publication--Participatory Mapping and Citizen Science

GG
Gregory Gordon Brown
Thu, Sep 13, 2018 1:34 PM

Hi all,

Below is a link to a new publication that evaluates participatory mapping for use in citizen science projects involving wildlife conservation (koalas in this case).  Participatory mapping (PPGIS/PGIS/VGI) confronts continuing challenges to data validity-does the mapping process generate trustworthy and useful information?  The article demonstrates that lay citizens can contribute important information for nature conservation using geographic citizen science.

Greg

Click either link to download the article PDF:

https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1XjNn1R~eAsTe  or https://www.landscapevalues.org/publications/koala_final.pdf


Abstract

Public participatory mapping is a method of crowdsourcing where the lay public can contribute spatial information for a range of applications including conservation planning. When used to collect wildlife observation data, participatory mapping becomes a type of "geographic citizen science" that involves collaboration with members of the public. While the potential of crowdsourcing to assist in wildlife conservation appears to be large, the quality and validity of the observational data collected remain a key concern. In this study, we examined the quality and validity of spatial data collected in a public participatory mapping project implemented in northern New South Wales (Australia) in 2018 where the public was asked to identify and map the location and frequency of koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sightings using an internet mapping application. The iconic koala is a nationally-listed threatened species and has wide public recognition, making it an ideal test of our approach to examining the value of citizen science for wildlife. We assessed the validity of koala observation data from two perspectives of validity-as-accuracy (positional accuracy and data completeness) and validity-as-credibility (characteristics of spatial data contributors). To assess validity-as-accuracy, we analysed the distribution of citizen observations of koala sightings compared to an expert-derived probability distribution of koalas (likelihood model). To assess validity-as-credibility, we analysed the survey data to determine which participant characteristics increased the credibility of observational data. We found significant spatial association between crowdsourced koala observations and the likelihood model to validate koala locations, but there was under-reporting in more rural, remote areas. Significant variables contributing to accuracy in koala observations included participant knowledge of koalas, age, length of residence, and formal education. We also compared the crowdsourced results to a field-based citizen science koala observation project implemented in the same region and found crowdsourced participatory mapping provided comparable, if not superior results. Crowdsourced koala observations can augment field-based koala research by covering large geographic areas while engaging a broader public in conservation efforts. However, effective geographic citizen science projects require a significant commitment of resources, including the creation of community partnerships, to obtain high quality spatial data.

--
Greg Brown (ggbrown@calpoly.edu)
Professor and Department Head
Natural Resource Management & Environmental Sciences
California Polytechnic State University

Visit the Landscape Values & PPGIS Institute (www.landscapevalues.orghttp://www.landscapevalues.org)

Hi all, Below is a link to a new publication that evaluates participatory mapping for use in citizen science projects involving wildlife conservation (koalas in this case). Participatory mapping (PPGIS/PGIS/VGI) confronts continuing challenges to data validity-does the mapping process generate trustworthy and useful information? The article demonstrates that lay citizens can contribute important information for nature conservation using geographic citizen science. Greg Click either link to download the article PDF: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1XjNn1R~eAsTe or https://www.landscapevalues.org/publications/koala_final.pdf *************************************************** Abstract Public participatory mapping is a method of crowdsourcing where the lay public can contribute spatial information for a range of applications including conservation planning. When used to collect wildlife observation data, participatory mapping becomes a type of "geographic citizen science" that involves collaboration with members of the public. While the potential of crowdsourcing to assist in wildlife conservation appears to be large, the quality and validity of the observational data collected remain a key concern. In this study, we examined the quality and validity of spatial data collected in a public participatory mapping project implemented in northern New South Wales (Australia) in 2018 where the public was asked to identify and map the location and frequency of koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sightings using an internet mapping application. The iconic koala is a nationally-listed threatened species and has wide public recognition, making it an ideal test of our approach to examining the value of citizen science for wildlife. We assessed the validity of koala observation data from two perspectives of validity-as-accuracy (positional accuracy and data completeness) and validity-as-credibility (characteristics of spatial data contributors). To assess validity-as-accuracy, we analysed the distribution of citizen observations of koala sightings compared to an expert-derived probability distribution of koalas (likelihood model). To assess validity-as-credibility, we analysed the survey data to determine which participant characteristics increased the credibility of observational data. We found significant spatial association between crowdsourced koala observations and the likelihood model to validate koala locations, but there was under-reporting in more rural, remote areas. Significant variables contributing to accuracy in koala observations included participant knowledge of koalas, age, length of residence, and formal education. We also compared the crowdsourced results to a field-based citizen science koala observation project implemented in the same region and found crowdsourced participatory mapping provided comparable, if not superior results. Crowdsourced koala observations can augment field-based koala research by covering large geographic areas while engaging a broader public in conservation efforts. However, effective geographic citizen science projects require a significant commitment of resources, including the creation of community partnerships, to obtain high quality spatial data. -- Greg Brown (ggbrown@calpoly.edu) Professor and Department Head Natural Resource Management & Environmental Sciences California Polytechnic State University Visit the Landscape Values & PPGIS Institute (www.landscapevalues.org<http://www.landscapevalues.org>)