COBWEB Workshop at ECSA Conference

European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference, Berlin, May 19–21st

Data, metadata, quality and visualisation of citizen science data

Dr Jamie Williams CSci (Environment Systems, UK)

Dr Suvodeep Mazumdar (University of Sheffield, UK)

Dr Arne J. Berre (SINTEF, Norway)


The session will focus on "Tools, technologies and applications in Citizen Science" from the user perspective - with a focus on acquisition of observation data through sensors and apps. Taking into consideration the observations themselves and how they are stored, shared, processed and visualised. This session will discuss various elements of data, metadata, quality and visualisation of citizen science data.

Is it possible and useful to have one common data model for a number of different types of observations within and across different citizen science areas such as air quality, water quality, flooding, biodiversity, etc.?

How is it best to share observation data through a common infrastructures such as GCI provided by GEOSS?

Data collected by citizens may contain a number of uncertainties that need to be identified, studied and documented throughout all processing steps, and eventually be made available as metadata. These elements become essential parts of all versions of citizen science data from raw observations and interpretations to heavily processed analyses.

One important contractor to such elements of the metadata is the quality assessment. Often, concerns raised of citizen science sourced data are that, while there are large volumes of data, their quality is unknown, making them of limited use. Linking quality assessment to citizen science metadata allows greater confidence to be associated with such observations and their subsequent reuse. Various metadata elements describing the processing and quality control etc. applied to the citizen science data also need to be addressed when visualising such data.

To support all this, there is a need to develop data and visual standards to maximise interoperability between systems and increase the immediate usefulness and ultimately the end user confidence of citizen science data.

The last part of the session will be a panel discussion with main focus on challenges and opportunities with the participation of the audience. A set of questions can be posted (via Twitter with a pre-determined hashtag) to the panel while the session is ongoing, which will also be included in the panel discussions.

More information on ECSA and the conference can be found at

Event Type: 


Start Date: 

Saturday, May 21, 2016 - 11:00 to 12:30


Berlin, Germany