#AAS -2: A Glance at Citizen Science Building

This is the second in a series of three posters that we’re presenting today at the AAS meeting in Washington, D.C.


CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility focused on engaging people – citizen scientists – from across the world in authentic research projects designed to enhance our knowledge of the cosmos around us. Using image data acquired by NASA missions, our citizen scientists are first trained to identify specific features within the data and then requested to identify those features across large datasets. Responses submitted by the citizen scientists are then stored in our database where they await for analysis and eventual publication by CosmoQuest staff and collaborating professional research scientists.

While it is clear that the driving power behind our projects are the eyes and minds of our citizen scientists, it is CosmoQuest’s custom software, Citizen Science Builder (CSB), that enables citizen science to be accomplished. On the front end, CosmoQuest’s CSB software allows for the creation of web-interfaces that users can access to perform image annotation through both drawing tools and questions that can accompany images. These tools include: using geometric shapes to identify regions within an image, tracing image attributes using freeform line tools, and flagging features within images. Additionally, checkboxes, dropdowns, and free response boxes may be used to collect information. On the back end, this software is responsible for the proper storage of all data, which allows project staff to perform periodic data quality checks and track the progress of each project. In this poster we present these available tools and resources and seek potential collaborations.

By: M. Richardson, J. A. Grier, P. Gay, C. Lehan, S. Buxner, and the CosmoQuest team

You can download the entire poster as a PDF here.

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