On 4th December 2014 over 130 delegates from across Europe gathered in Brussels for the Citizens’ Observatories: Empowering European Society, an event organised by the European Commission, and the five Citizens Observatories projects.
COBWEB was delighted to be part of this event, which brought together experts and practitioners from a wide range of European citizen science initiatives and policy making bodies for presentations, demos and discussion focusing on the role and opportunities for active citizen participation in environmental monitoring and policy making.
The COBWEB project was well represented across the event with a stand for the project throughout the day; a presentation from Co-ordinator Chris Higgins (EDINA) introducing the project to all those attending; participation by Colin Chapman from Welsh Government (a COBWEB project partner) in the ’Citizens Observatories and their value for decision making‘ session; and Bart De Lathouwer (OGC Europe) representing the project in the Panel Session on Citizens’ Observatories.
The day was also the perfect opportunity to give the first live demo of the COBWEB citizen science infrastructure, with Jamie Williams (Environment Systems) leading an enthusiastic crowd through the process of creating a new citizen science project, designing mobile data collection forms, and deploying those forms from the COBWEB portal to the mobile device.
After two years of developing systems across the COBWEB consortia, this was an exciting moment for the whole project team; demonstrating that the complex combination of technologies works together in a clear usable way. This working version of the infrastructure is now undergoing further improvements to ensure it is ready for our Co-Design projects. These projects will actively contribute to our system’s development, and will undertake serious real world testing throughout the spring.
The Citizens Observatories: Empowering European Society event was a fantastic opportunity for COBWEB to meet others working in the space, to hear about other citizen observatory and citizen science projects. COBWEB’s work ensuring that our infrastructure uses standards-driven approaches, and is designed to be secure, interoperable with other systems, as well as our consideration and development of tools to address quality assurance of crowd sourced data, were particularly well highlighted in discussions and panel sessions throughout the event.
The COBWEB team would like to thank the European Commission for all of their hard work organising this event, to those who participated in this event, followed proceedings via Twitter, and particularly those who helped ensure our demo went so smoothly on the day.
Chris' presentation is available via the Presentations and Publications page, or direct from Slideshare here: http://www.slideshare.net/CobwebFP7/cobweb-chris-higgins-edina
The flyer/agenda for the day is still available to view: http://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/files/0dd44fee-4159-44e6-8601-f9bd6e290dab. An announcement of the event can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/citizens%E2%80%99-observatories-empowering-european-society-open-conference.
Our announcement/news item on the event: https://cobwebproject.eu/booking-now-open-citizens-observatories-empowering-european-society-event
All presentations from the event can be accessed via the joint Citizens Observatories website: http://citizen-obs.eu/Downloads.aspx
An archive of Tweets (#CitObsConf2014) from the event can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/CitObsConf2014
Images from the event are available on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cobwebfp7/sets/72157649778061660/
Muki Haklay's blog post on the event can be found here: https://povesham.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/citizens-observatories-empowering-european-society/
You can also download high quality PDFs of the two posters which COBWEB presented at the event, either go to the Dissemination page, where you will also find posters and materials from other events, or click on the appropriate image below: