Citizen science apps allow society to collect all kinds of data, from gathering species data to air or water quality. These data are usually openly available so that the scientific community can use this information for their research. However, two of the most common challenges the citizen science projects developing apps face are:
• Citizen science users usually have too many apps to use, and this makes it challenging to engage them
• or you, as a scientist, may also need to collect various measurements for your study.
To tackle these challenges DDQ has developed MOBIS (Mobile Observation Integration Service) in the Horizon 2020 Cos4Cloud project framework. MOBIS is a service that facilitates the integration of environmental sensors and biodiversity data in an app so that researchers and developers can customise their own projects to collect and combine all sorts of useful information from images or low-cost sensors linked to a mobile website or a native app platform. For example, suppose you are a developer or a researcher interested in getting air-quality readings to use in your research; if you use MOBIS, you would be able to create an app to collect these data instead of using several apps. With this integrative app, the citizen science community can help you collect air-pollution readings using iSPEX (a smartphone add-on to ‘see’ aerosols in the sky) and ‘normal’ pictures of lichens (air quality indicators), all in the same app!
Additionally, the service offers multiple user-friendly interfaces, including a dashboard for data previewing and scheduling push notifications. It also allows you to store data offline and synchronise it when the user is online, especially useful if you are in the field without an internet connection. Additionally, MOBIS incorporates Authenix to accomplish the European GDPR (General Data Protection Rules) rules. Authenix is another service developed in the Cos4Cloud framework by Secure Dimensions, also available in the EOSC Portal.
1 Log in the app just once;
2 Choose which environmental or biodiversity data they would like to report;
3 Store their observations (air, water, images) while they are offline and upload them later.