ASIS&T 2011 plenary session: How to identify ducks in flight: A crowdsourcing approach to biodiversity research and conservation



Editor's Summary

Volunteers engaged in crowdsourcing are providing valuable information to help understand bird biodiversity and migration. Attendees at the 2011 Annual Meeting heard Steve Kelling, director of information science at Cornell University's Ornithology Lab, explain how humans play a critical role by providing knowledge used to identify, differentiate and track birds around the world. Kelling's eBird project is a global citizen science project involving birders who report bird sighting locations, numbers, dates and time. The My eBird web pages engage birders, supporting collection and sharing of personal experiences. Smartphone apps and data-backed dot indicators on Google Maps provide extra technology support for participants. The end goal is broad scale analysis with fine resolution about species occurrence and biodiversity, applying the kind of information that only humans can provide.