CrowdHydrology: Crowdsourcing Hydrologic Data and Engaging Citizen Scientists


Department of Geology, University at Buffalo, 411 Cooke Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260; (716) 654-4266; fax: (716) 654-3999;


Spatially and temporally distributed measurements of processes, such as baseflow at the watershed scale, come at substantial equipment and personnel cost. Research presented here focuses on building a crowdsourced database of inexpensive distributed stream stage measurements. Signs on staff gauges encourage citizen scientists to voluntarily send hydrologic measurements (e.g., stream stage) via text message to a server that stores and displays the data on the web. Based on the crowdsourced stream stage, we evaluate the accuracy of citizen scientist measurements and measurement approach. The results show that crowdsourced data collection is a supplemental method for collecting hydrologic data and a promising method of public engagement.