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Friday, May 19 • 9:00am - 10:00am
B-06: Symposium: One Billion Wildlife Observations: Crowdsourcing Digital Collections

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One Billion Wildlife Observations: Crowdsourcing Digital Collections
Organizer: Lucy Robinson
Natural sciences collections around the world comprise more than one billion specimens, representing a vast source of information on the natural world. Natural History Museums and similar institutions hold and care for these collections on behalf of us all - they are an international public resource. Mobilising these data for research, conservation and public use is a formidable task - and one that is ideally suited to citizen science. Using the power of the crowd to extract, transcribe, interpret and/or analyse data from handwritten labels brings the scale of the task within reach within our lifetimes. This symposium brings together international examples of crowdsourcing platforms, and highlights practical tools and advice for setting up and running a crowdsourcing project. We share innovative ideas for engaging broad global audiences in this endeavour and tips for supporting and nurturing an online community of citizen scientists including the similarities and differences to face-to-face engagement and training. Crowdsourcing by its nature is a big data movement, and we will demonstrate existing tools and new ones under development that can facilitate open data sharing and the onward use of data for education, conservation and ongoing research. Finally, such a task doesn't come without significant challenges and opportunities! We share our lessons learned, highlight issues we are still facing and invite suggestions and collaborations from the audience to overcome these.


Challenges, opportunities and the future of crowdsourcing collections data
Helen Hardy, Natural History Museum London

Connecting the dots, volunteers, and projects: Growing beyond goals with greater engagement
Meghan Ferriter, Smithsonian Institution

Notes from Nature - Using the Zooniverse platform as a collaborative project
Michael Denslow, Florida Museum of Natural History

Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections: WeDigBio, the global transcription event
Elizabeth Ellwood, iDigBio, Florida State University

Friday May 19, 2017 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Meeting Rooms 4, 5 & 6