Zooniverse Workshop

It’s been an exciting and exhausting past couple days. I’ve been at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, chatting with Zooniverse developers, scientists from other Zooniverse projects, educators and social scientists, and citizen science volunteers. There have been presentations on the history of the Zooniverse, starting with the original Galaxy Zoo, and on why people say they participate in citizen science projects. We’ve talked about ways to process the huge amount of data that comes out of the projects, and how to make translations of projects into other languages easier. We’ve seen that for some projects, many people do few classifications, and for others, few people do many classifications. And we’ve consumed coffee and food, and just gotten to know one another. (I discovered a scientist on another project went to my alma mater, graduated a year after me, and that we know many of the same people!)


Arfon talks about how the Zooniverse creates citizen science projects

One of the things I’m most excited about for Snapshot Serengeti is a set of visualization and analysis tools that the Zooniverse team is developing. They’ve started on a nice set of tools for Galaxy Zoo already, and Snapshot Serengeti is well-positioned to have tools added next. The tools will allow you to do things like map where images were taken, look at trends over time of species, and make some simple graphs. Is there anything you’d like to do easily with Snapshot Serengeti data? Now is the time to let us know. Feel free to leave ideas in the comments.

This workshop has also been fun because we’ve gotten a sneak peak at what lies down the Zooniverse road… a project called SpaceWarps is coming soon… further down the road, we have plankton, condors, kelp, sunspots… plus more data for Andromeda Project, Notes from Nature, and… Snapshot Serengeti!

It turns out to be true: there IS a new hard drive in Minnesota and it has all the Season 5 images on it. On Friday, Lora Orme and I started loading those images onto the supercomputers so we can start processing them. You’ll have to forgive the Zooniverse for stealing me away these past couple days and keeping me from working on the Season 5 images. But it’s just a small delay; I think we’ll have Season 5 online within the month.


The Adler Planetarium


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About Margaret Kosmala

I am an ecologist exploring the complex dynamics of plant and animal systems. I am especially interested in understanding how species communities change over time and how humans impact them.

3 responses to “Zooniverse Workshop”

  1. Parsfan says :

    The idea of tools sounds fascinating! It would be great to be able to create a map showing all the cameras which had taken pictures of a certain species on a certain day, to get a map of the distribution of buffalo or impala (or whatever) and how they move around the landscape. Maybe that would be to complicated, though!
    Great news about the season 5 images đŸ™‚

  2. Cara Ruffo says :

    I don’t know how possible this is, but I would love to be able to see all the pics from one camera in chronological order after the season is done, for things like lion kills caught on camera. It offers an awesome example of feeding succession to share with people, especially children.

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