From mudflows to volcanic rocks and dolines to landslides: Citizen scientists help with research on changes in the landscape on an interactive map.

geomorphology, maps, landform changes

The project overview

Area of Science: Technology and Computer Sciences
Location: For mapping: National Park Berchtesgarden, Germany and Nature Park Weißbach, Austria
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: GPS-enabled smartphone with camera and Internet access is required or a digital camera, as well as a computer with Internet access
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, observing, collecting, photographing, mapping, testing online
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.07.2018 - 30.06.2020
Time to join in: 01.07.2018 - 30.06.2020
Expenditure of time: Filling out the questionnaire approx. 15 min, workshops (up to 1 day), observations in the field per observation approx. 5 min

Project objective

citizenMorph is a scientific project in which information on geomorphological phenomena (landforms and their changes through time) is recorded and reported by citizens in particular. For this purpose, a website and an app will be developed together with the target group, based on the participatory design approach. The app can be used by citizen scientists to collect data.

How to participate?

Everyone can participate in the project and in the mapping of landforms and their changes through time. The website and app should be easy to use for citizens in accordance with their digital skills. Especially for this reason, the cooperation with citizens is already very important during the development of the app: Citizens are involved in the various steps of the website and application development. Involvement includes workshops with user groups, student internships and usability tests, so that the app should be usable for all interested people and draw (further) interest in geomorphology and citizen science via a wide range of user groups.

For the recording of landforms especially hikers, tourists and residents of all ages are addressed who record geomorphological phenomena in designated study areas via app. The observations will be used in the evaluation and validation of remote sensing data. The period of data acquisition with the developed app will last from the beginning to mid 2020.

What happens to contributions of citizen scientists?

Basically, geomorphological phenomena and changes in the landscape can be detected using remote sensing data (e.g., satellite imagery). However, it is difficult to study these changes only on the basis of satellite imagery. For validating remote sensing data derived information, the help of local citizens is needed. For this purpose, citizens should be provided with a website and a mobile app, to support the mapping of landscape changes. The data provided by the citizens will support scientists in their work. In addition, a framework concept will be developed to determine important insights into requirements and motivation to raise the interest of the population in citizen science projects.

Participating and supporting institutions


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