Citizens observatories for effective Earth observations: the WeSenseIt approach

Mazumdar, Suvodeep, Lanfranchi, Vita, Ireson, Neil, Wrigley, Stuart, Bagnasco, Clara, Wehn, Uta, McDonagh, Rosalind, Ferri, Michele, McCarthy, Simon ORCID logoORCID:, Huwald, Hendrik and Ciravegna, Fabio (2016) Citizens observatories for effective Earth observations: the WeSenseIt approach. Environmental Scientist, 25 (2) . pp. 56-61. ISSN 0966-8411 [Article]

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The WeSenseIt project defines citizen observatories as “A method, an environment and an infrastructure supporting an information ecosystem for communities and citizens, as well as emergency operators and policymakers, for discussion, monitoring and intervention on situations, places and events” . A collaborative approach has been taken to develop solutions that involve an exchange of information and expertise from all participants and where the focus is on arriving at practical solutions with a clear vision and direction. This has created a shared ownership scheme, and shifts power to the process itself rather than remaining within authorities, developers or decision-makers. The project’s emphasis is on delivering highly innovative technologies to support citizens, communities and authorities in developing a real-time situation awareness while ensuring all stakeholders play their part. Implementation has been through a combination of crowdsourcing, custom applications and dedicated web portals designed to foster collaboration, and which has created a shared knowledge base that facilitates decision-making processes and engages with communities. Data is captured via innovative sensors that are used directly by citizens, crowdsourcing from social networks (or by collective intelligence).

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 20536
Notes on copyright: Permission granted on 24/02/17, by the Institution of Environmental Sciences ( to make the full text of the published version available in this Repository ( The published journal is available at
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Depositing User: Simon Mccarthy
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2016 12:28
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2022 01:25

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