Usability Engineering For Successful Open Citizen Science

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Usability Engineering For Successful Open Citizen Science
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Citizen science can be explained as the engagement by nonprofessional scientists in collecting data, analyzing data, developing technologies and the publication of these on a voluntary basis. In a majority of citizen science projects the data to be collected is geospatial and is being presented on maps. If the data is about environmental observations, this approach is often referred to as participatory sensing. A novel approach in this field is to equip citizens with DIY-environmental sensor stations and to establish citizen driven sensor networks. This approach leads to better data coverage but also contains motivational aspects, as citizens build up their own devices. Most existing DIY sensor stations are not fully open in terms of source code, data collection, hardware, educational documents or extensibility for other platforms. That's why they lack transparency for the user, e.g. for scientists, who are interested in the data or citizens who want to understand the algorithms. The SenseBox project started at the Institute for Geoinformatics, University of M?nster, and is an ongoing open citizen science project. Based on open hardware components (Arduino microcontrollers and compatible sensors) citizens build their own Internet of Things enabled sensor stations to collect environmental data (temperature, humidity, air pressure, loudness, VIS-light, UV-light). The data is being published as open data and visualized on a web based platform, the OpenSenseMap (OSeM). An educational edition of the SenseBox and didactical material are being introduced into high schools, where students learn to code, measure environmental phenomena and work scientifically. The whole source code is open source, instructions are being published as open educational resources (OER) and models for a 3D-printed waterproof case are available as open source as well. In a first project phase, around 50 SenseBox stations were deployed to citizens and schools in Germany. Some participants had problems in the building and registration process of the SenseBox, others disconnected their SenseBox after some time. In this paper we want to investigate, if usability problems were the cause of the low success rate and how the motivation of citizen scientist can be preserved to ensure long-term data collection. In a user study we plan to evaluate the workflow of (a) building up the SenseBox station, (b) register it on OSeM and (c) verify the communication. Therefore we invite non professionals to our institute for an observed usability study in a controlled environment. A number of ten attendees is sufficient to improve usability significantly. As a basis, the current state of our online tutorials, containing text documents with illustrations and examples, are provided to the participants. Sessions are video recorded, and participants are being interviewed afterwards. In a next step, the results are analyzed to enhance project documentation and hardware design to a more user friendly version. The enhanced construction kits are being rolled out and provided to a new group of citizen scientists. In a final step, a questionnaire is used as an evaluation for the user study and the motivation of the participants.
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choice bottom effective presentation time model inserts registration open part usability signing different box errors Headers generation map format software developers constructor moment Store Sun REST API indication several measurement connections mean job Communicate phases website Progress results mode recording page control statistics study Messfehler microcontroller product power Twitter terms Softwareentwicklung hardware touch Ideals level testing shadows kit noise response cells law Experts databases lines Application Word URLs Radius Computer animation environmental networks Case university Tabulated
the thank you very much for all these of introduction and for the words and there are my name is younger than I'm from Germany from the Institute for Geoinformatics and stuff and my worker is mainly involves the citizen science which is can be explained as the involvement of the general public or among professionals in scientific projects or in scientific development and in in our case and and all development do we mean uh we use crowdsourcing or have in the citizens collect information for us which are represented on that um and this approach is called participatory sensing so I mean the the bit about my work at the Institute for Geoinformatics and working for the GII at school at which is the school laboratory here where we have mean where we perform workshops for pupils and training for teachers to have many to bring GI science into schools and to get to teach me the the teach us all to use the G. I. tools like GIS for example in the school classes and on the other hand you put the pupils learn how to work scientifically and 2 program for example to cold or to build up sends stations in which can be used and to to in Kevin informations which are then collected by also rose and this is also my part of the work that I I mentioned and pupil teacher who is working with the open-source hardware and so to say on the basis of our I know microcontrollers which you might know it's in their source hardware platform not only consisting of the microcontrollers but also on the Eugen grow up so on growing community and there are a lot of applications that for other renal that are already there and so you can find a lot of inspiration there and and all worked was the Arduino platform and the microcontroller programming has shown that it is really a playful and simple way to teach the basics of programming to the kids on the on the left-hand side you see a very simple example just that and as an example for an experiment where you can make an energy blink which is connected to a digital parts of the microcontroller there the the it the remain the and then the idea was to collect the the the the best experiments and projects into 1 tool kit um and so we provide the hardware and open source educational resources to schools to and that to to get schools and teachers that means basically a toolkit for for our own interdisciplinary pursue work with the y a hardware and prototyping in their school classes and they we we are focusing on environmental sensing so we are using the temperature rise humidity and pressure sends us but as well and air quality sensors for example uh um that can be used to build up projects in the in the schools and in project based on schools and then can be Web enabled to to publish it to publish the data and the measured data the yeah so this is a after we mean after we collected all the parts for this sense books in the toolkit we've thought about how to publish the measurements and then we came up with the idea of the open sense map which is a tool for sharing and publishing data and it started very simple as you see here the 1st prototype and the in 13 we developed at our institute me where it was only the mean capable of displaying the real-time data so the last measurement of each of the sense boxes and until the and this could be this sense books problem could be used in combination with the open API to connect to smaller in the the small sensor stations that are built in to school classes to work published in my measurements there so we came up burdened after that was a new definition of project goes after we uh recognized that in the demand for since boxes was very high and there were a lot of of we got a lot of requests from schools me and they wanted you to use or system so we thought about me in the out and we thought about the 2 men to uh and hence I user group that we can increase participation not only by means of fire getting the data from the school classes but also from other citizen scientists but all other interested people who want to know something about their environment sold for example for foreign citizens could be nice to see our home medicine in in this is street or the other we have you all the air pollution behave for examples so we want to establish a large scale sends at work and the new wasn't or all consensus map is that we want to be in a new standard for all sensor data for sharing and collecting all the sensor data in Germany and we use did that often entail and and hence the comes the concept of descent box here for the hardware infrastructure which is now on the Web of Things enables sends station so so that means that it isn't physical object integrated into the web and this is can be i'd addressed and identified by a specific URI and the communication of View sense the box to the science books or between the sense boxes can be achieved by and RESTful API so to say by HTTP methods for getting measurements for example or posting new measurements of the of us and the you can see here in this picture the variance of not only the communication and sensing part but all and also the it's an acting parts so that means it is that you can for example specifies thresholds and get warnings if you uh reach for example in a certain temperature limit or a a uh hm in most of the noise pollution is to to high you can get warnings from that on the other hand the other sense now serves as so about infrastructure for all of this enzyme at work and we
want to keep all the data open um so all data that you upload there is published as Open Data and that can be shared and to me and can be shared between communities so scientists all interested people and and as I said it is um happen in all stages so all of so our RESTful API is is designed for what makes us which means that you don't need to sense box for contribute and and or comparing but you can also um create your own and sends a station for example with raspberry Pi or was there another are what enable sends lot and implemented um implement the methods to connect to all our API to get any sends or working on the open sense maps and another to free future uh is that if you use a sense books and you read to stifle if you read that you can have an automated sketch generation the sketches a software program for those of you know microcontrollers and this is especially useful if should you are not non expert and you don't want to implement all of these 2 methods to connect to the API by hand so what we did was we what we mean we did a test run in the 2014 in April and then we started to to equip citizens with your mean you just have construction kits which were based on balls mean sends boxes for schools but that so you have to be made but not a simple to get you really um to really is get get it running from non-experts well the and the stations so we try to distribute them mainly on all over Germany use the use of the word is so Minister all universities located of course we have most of the test boxes most of their choice and I forgot to say that we are trying to use low-cost hardware pilots for because if we would if if a station would cost several hundred dollars in or maybe several thousand dollars that it would be the big disadvantage for our campaign because we want to have been the can we want to achieve a coverage for really all over Germany and then how would lead to have a very high participation and this could only be achieved by a low cost hardware by low-cost products so of course we cannot and we cannot compete with high-quality sends all stations from the government for example which costs when quality station for example in and start costs all of the cells and you roles and this is of course not to German defendable for citizens or foreign volunteer their bottom and we as this only once the station for measuring air pollution in Germany and I'm about 200 kilometres 10 meters from the from the from the Sun's center we can say OK we can't we can't put a very accurate and very expensive for the terms of measuring station there but we can put several we can put several hundreds of stations in the same radius and so can reduce the measurement error or by so by every news station which is reduced in or portal and then and the 1st results of the 1 year after around 1 year we had to 1 we had a around 8 million measurements and in our database at the Open sense maps over but a lot and I must say most of the station were disconnected after a few weeks so we had to to write e-mails to each of the users and say hey can you read reset your station or what is going on but this was most of the times not answer by them so the yeah we thought about why did that happen and how we can there are and how we can find the error sources so what we did is that was to we performed a user study in a controlled environment at all Institute and we are invited to the moon or whether volunteers to take part in a user study and so we tested to the hardware wiring in the use of software installation the registration process and you um documentation material and checked if everything is understandable falsify non-professional users who may have never got in touch with the open-source hardware sends or the equipment or anything like that and the results in the loss after the end of after a couple of weeks of user studies of the new sense proximal user-friendly and amounts the simple sense sense box and you can see it here on the right side it is it's really looking like a product well um and this is certainly not environment DIY a station consisting of a sends a lot of a microcontroller offer network adapter um of the them specially designed hardware powered for a simple have connections where you don't need to wire everything up but you can it's just use cable with the connectors to connect the sensors to the microcontroller and we tried to cover the wages of interests that we found out in a question are often citizens which they are interested in most then and these are temperature humidity air pressure noise level of uh and um the luminance and the UV the level which is especially useful for our uh before mean reducing uh in skin cancer risk if you know about the these every radiation intensity yeah the and this station has to be a mother has to be build up deployed once and then continuously measuring the data and all the data as a set before is published as Open Data FIL you see the inside of all are all for construction kit I also have 1 with me if you're interested i can show it to you later and we also provides a 3 D model for a so the following for case for the so and this from the law of the land for the protection against
radiation of this enzyme trend toward waterproof box where main station this place OK and what are we doing next we want to we want to do a 2nd test run where we mean where we this deployed around 100 further stations and see if we can all achieve the continuous measurements without the need to restart the center the stations for example or with ordinary any problems and then we start all official measurement campaign where we and so the it sends or do-it-yourself boxes in an online store and then extend our documentation continuously but and we also want to include the the public the creative community and the development so that for example the citizens find new use cases and what or 1 to upgrade other sends us they can make manuals for them online on our website on the web powerful hadn't the shared with others yeah and what is not a very important part is to find partners and to promote the project and so yeah we already did that by the mean by Wizard thing thousand exhibitions for example or inviting journalists are institutes to to make you have to make all project more the more along and the in the outside world OK so if you are or have any questions or ideal I'm happy to speak about it and thank you for your attention but I can't stand these very interesting presentation do you have any questions from the audience the something at the moment we are working in Germany but this is the main reason because of that is because we are founded by this Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany and they are uh you may be interested in the sensor network followed for Germany but that doesn't mean that we are open for other projects but as we are only a very small team and our that and need to you need the support of the of the minister we mainly have to take care about Germany at the moment I would say I think in the vault maybe have a you know when we stopped our 2nd test phase and 2 we have really a rather ready product which is working in all stages than we can provide but the sense books also to other 2 other institutes aura of course interested people and maybe everywhere so I was asked to use a microphone for questions and answers for the recording this come to the urgency responses as as I can see has some indication battles in actually building that advises a bike it's that the kids would learn to did learn about programming and in building the by this finding and in the process so in dancing that this aspect of educational value is diminished for it and you don't worry about this aspect for a take extra care to pretend this yeah that's a good question we have shown besides the construction kits for the citizen science purpose we have another uh construction kit for the mean of the schools so the construction could for the sign citizen science application is called sense books home and the other for the school application sense books the do for the big UK educational part and the difference between the ball the both of them the boxes are that the um that the uh sense books for the citizens is much more easy to build up and the sense books for the schools the sense books it was much more going to the basics of programming ofElectronics and so uh as a said before we tried to to enhance the moon uh our use case in the sense of that we want to have a larger user groups so we developed the citizen-science parts after the in educational part of can we have come from each on line of questions and we have time for performing a couple more questions the and I ask 1 or 2 so the data is often when you transfer the of what what kind of of what will be used excuse me what kind of a on a format to use now we are using for the communication that due Jason format so to get it into the database and you can not only get the data by all API as a before about you can also mode Donald them as see is view for example or also as Jason data so that it also then you have somebody who doesn't want to implement anything can make use of the data and get a table from all page from the station is selected to enter control of the from the I think this is very good example of called sources who and monitoring of course also the how to think yeah this is right and this is a really big problem what we are thinking about this 1st you have to do is to be after you build up the station this has to be calibrated so what we want to do is to make calibrating session where people of certain of asserting the new location can visit for example the town center where 1 expert can take care of the calibration and but what this to make or what can be In disadvantage is that everybody who is putting the % box and set it up somewhere it's maybe placing it into the song or into the shadows so we get different measurements that we have several for example that show the this about that where we use statistical methods to filter out the future of stations which about run data or which are not configured properly or the software that can now be used to determine if the station is set up inside or outside something like this is is in progress but this is really mean that this is problem and we have to further develop the thank you much didn't think you you take a profound