Citizen Science: theory, practice & policy 

As part of the Israeli Geographical Association meeting in Jerusalem, I was asked to give a half day workshop on "Citizen Science: theory, practice and policy (with case studies from UK & Germany)". The workshop learning objectives: Knowledge of the field of citizen science and current trends that influence it Understand the principles and practical … Continue reading Citizen Science: theory, practice & policy 


AAG 2015 notes – day 2 – Public Participation GIS symposium

The second day was dedicated to reflections on Public Participation GIS or Participatory GIS. The day was organised by Rina Ghose and Bandana Karr with some comments from Renee Sieber and me at some stage. It turned out to be an excellent symposium. The following are my notes from the different talks during the day. Jon … Continue reading AAG 2015 notes – day 2 – Public Participation GIS symposium

Diary of a a citizen scientist by Sharman Apt Russell

The academic literature on Citizen Science is expanding quickly, with hundreds of papers that are published in peer review publications every years about it. These papers are written by professional scientists and practitioners, mostly for an audience of other professional scientists and practitioners. A very common concern of researchers is to understand the motivations and incentives … Continue reading Diary of a a citizen scientist by Sharman Apt Russell

EU BON round table discussion on supporting citizen science, Berlin

The EU BON is a European project, focusing on building the European Biodiversity Observation Network. Now, with the growing recognition of citizen science as a source of biodiversity observations, a meeting dedicated to the intersection was organised in Berlin today, following the ECSA meeting.  The project carried out gap analysis of the available data, which also explores … Continue reading EU BON round table discussion on supporting citizen science, Berlin

European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) general assembly (Berlin)

The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) reached an important stage in its development, with a general assembly in Berlin on 26th November 2014. The organisation was finally formally registered as a German charity in April, so now it's time to consider future directions and developments. The assembly had about 50 participants with new members joining … Continue reading European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) general assembly (Berlin)

AAG 2015 CFP: OpenStreetMap Studies: Research Perspectives on a Decade of OSM

Call for papers: OpenStreetMap Studies: Research Perspectives on a Decade of OSM Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting April 21-25, 2015 Chicago, Illinois Organizers: Alan McConchie, University of British Columbia Muki Haklay, University College London Since its founding in 2004, OpenStreetMap has grown into one of the pre-eminent open collaborative geographic knowledge projects online, growth … Continue reading AAG 2015 CFP: OpenStreetMap Studies: Research Perspectives on a Decade of OSM

Citizen Science and GIS

An interesting blog post from Matt Artz in ESRI about Citizen Science and GIS. I have written about it in 2010 in ‘Geographical Citizen Science’ – and it is important that more people who are dealing with GIS at government and scientific organisations be aware of citizen science (disclosure: ESRI provided generous support to ExCiteS)

GIS and Science

“Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists, often by crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.”


Applications of geospatial technologies have already proven themselves invaluable for scientific research and understanding. But is there an opportunity for citizen scientists to leverage geospatial technologies in their quest for knowledge and entertainment, and still make valuable contributions to society?

Citizen scientists have a strong interest in some facet of science, but pursue this interest outside of mainstream academic, research, and industrial organizations. These self-directed individuals might very well be using their own resources, working in their garages to develop “the next big thing.” But more often they are networked, working together with fellow citizen scientists. And this is where they become a powerful force to be taken seriously within the scientific community.

Scientists, as well as “professionals doing science,” are often the ones organizing these citizen…

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ICTs and ecosystems

An excellent critique of why ICT is not an ecosystem – although I do recall a critique on the discourse of high-tech in which it is demonstrated how, from the mid 1980s, technology companies started appropriating concepts from sociobiology and a very bad interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution to justify business practices and actions. By coincidence, probably, the first time I’ve read about sociobiology was in an IBM-sponsored magazine in the early 1980s. ..

Tim Unwin's Blog

david_stoddart As a young geographer, I had the privilege of learning from the extraordinary David Stoddart, and can never forget reading the numerous books and papers on small island ecosystems that he recommended to us in the mid-1970s – and being jealous that he was able to be doing research on beautiful far-away places such as Aldabra!  Likewise, Richard Chorley and Barbara Kennedy’s Physical Geography: a Systems Approach was required reading on several courses.  Although not quite as inspirational as David Stoddart’s physical presence,  I recall being enthused by this book to go back and read some of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s work on General Systems Theory, and struggling to balance this with my own increasing interest in structuralism and Marxist theory.

Hence, I have always adopted a principled and historical understanding of the origins and development of the systems approach in academic discourse.  This has made me ever more infuriated by…

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