Developing Mobile Applications for Environmental and Biodiversity Citizen Science: Considerations and Recommendations

  • Soledad LunaEmail author
  • Margaret Gold
  • Alexandra Albert
  • Luigi Ceccaroni
  • Bernat Claramunt
  • Olha Danylo
  • Muki Haklay
  • Renzo Kottmann
  • Christopher Kyba
  • Jaume Piera
  • Antonella Radicchi
  • Sven Schade
  • Ulrike Sturm
Part of the Multimedia Systems and Applications book series (MMSA)


The functionality available on modern ‘smartphone’ mobile devices, along with mobile application software and access to the mobile web, have opened up a wide range of ways for volunteers to participate in environmental and biodiversity research by contributing wildlife and environmental observations, geospatial information, and other context-specific and time-bound data. This has brought about an increasing number of mobile phone based citizen science projects that are designed to access these device features (such as the camera, the microphone, and GPS location data), as well as to reach different user groups, over different project durations, and with different aims and goals. In this chapter we outline a number of key considerations when designing and developing mobile applications for citizen science, with regard to (1) Interoperability. The factors that influence the usability of the mobile application are covered in both (2) Participant Centred Design and Agile Development, and (3) User Interface and Experience Design. Finally, the factors that influence sustained engagement in the project are covered in (4) Motivational Factors for Participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soledad Luna
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Margaret Gold
    • 3
  • Alexandra Albert
    • 4
  • Luigi Ceccaroni
    • 5
  • Bernat Claramunt
    • 6
    • 7
  • Olha Danylo
    • 8
  • Muki Haklay
    • 9
  • Renzo Kottmann
    • 10
  • Christopher Kyba
    • 11
  • Jaume Piera
    • 12
  • Antonella Radicchi
    • 13
  • Sven Schade
    • 14
  • Ulrike Sturm
    • 15
  1. 1.European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), Institute of Forest Growth and Computer ScienceTechnische UniversitätDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Nazca Institute for Marine ResearchQuitoEcuador
  3. 3.National History Museum LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  5. 5.1000001 LabsBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.CREAF, Edifici Ciéncies, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)Bellaterra, CataloniaSpain
  7. 7.Ecology Unit (BABVE), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)Bellaterra, CataloniaSpain
  8. 8.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  9. 9.Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS)University College LondonLondonUK
  10. 10.Max Planck Institute for Marine MicrobiologyBremenGermany
  11. 11.GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany
  12. 12.Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  13. 13.Technical University BerlinBerlinGermany
  14. 14.European CommissionJoint Research Centre (JRC), Unit B06-Digital EconomyIspraItaly
  15. 15.Museum für Naturkunde BerlinLeibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity ScienceBerlinGermany

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