Cell Phones for Citizen Science

You are one of millions and millions of human beings who are carrying a special research tool in your pocket or purse. It’s your cell phone, of course! And, with mobile technologies advanced to nearly the point that we now can have mini-computers resting in the palm of our hand, scientists are beginning to realize the untapped potential of world-wide data collection from citizen scientists.

There are many exciting potential uses for how the average cell phone user–nearly everyone of us!–can participate in important science studies where ever one might live. Local climate measurements, traffic conditions, and real-time observations via text messages are just an inkling of where cell phone citizen science can be used.

This opportunity for scientists has already been realized and an important study was completed out of UCLA, which describes how existing mobile technologies can be used to enhance citizen science participation. If you are interested in learning more, and even would like to find out how to get involved with your own phone, read the paper and see how you can connect as a mobile citizen scientist.

“Participatory Sensing: A citizen-powered approach to illuminating the patterns that shape our world” [ READ THE PAPER (pdf) ]

UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing

“There’s a sensor in your pocket” :: FirstScience News :: May 19, 2009 :: [ READ ]

“Cell Phones Allow Everyone to Be a Scientist” :: LiveScience :: June 4, 2009 :: [ READ ]

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Last updated November 23, 2020