The Role of Citizen Science in Earth Observation

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  • Publish Date April 11, 2017
  • Last Updated September 19, 2021

The Role of Citizen Science in Earth Observation

Citizen Science (CS) and crowdsourcing are two potentially valuable sources of data for Earth Observation (EO), which have yet to be fully exploited. Research in this area has increased rapidly during the last two decades, and there are now many examples of CS projects that could provide valuable calibration and validation data for EO, yet are not integrated into operational monitoring systems. A special issue on the role of CS in EO has revealed continued trends in applications, covering a diverse set of fields from disaster response to environmental monitoring (land cover, forests, biodiversity and phenology). These papers touch upon many key challenges of CS including data quality and citizen engagement as well as the added value of CS including lower costs, higher temporal frequency and use of the data for calibration and validation of remotely-sensed imagery. Although still in the early stages of development, CS for EO clearly has a promising role to play in the future.

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