Zooniverse (citizen science project)

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Zooniverse
Zooinverse org logo.png
Web address www.zooniverse.org
Slogan Real science online
Commercial? No
Type of site Citizen science web portal
Registration Optional
Available in English, German, Polish
Owner Citizen Science Alliance[1]
Created by Fingerprint Digital Media
Launched 16 February 2009;
5 years ago
 (2009-02-16)[2]
Current status Online

Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal owned and operated by the Citizen Science Alliance. The organization grew from the original Galaxy Zoo project and now hosts dozens of projects which allow volunteers to participate in crowdsourced scientific research. Unlike many early internet-based citizen science projects (such as SETI@home) which used spare computer processing power to analyse data, known as volunteer computing, Zooniverse projects require the active participation of human volunteers to complete research tasks. Projects have been drawn from disciplines including astronomy, ecology, cell biology, humanities, and climate science.[3]

As of 20 June 2014, the Zooniverse community consisted of more than 1.1 million registered volunteers.[4] The volunteers are often collectively referred to as "Zooites".[5] The data collected from the various projects has led to the publication of more than 50 scientific papers.[6]

Projects[edit]

Active projects[edit]

Active projects currently include:

Project Type Description Launch date
Galaxy Zoo Decision tree The fourth and latest incarnation of the Galaxy Zoo project, in which users are shown images of a galaxy and then asked a series of questions to classify its morphology. The current sample includes images of high-redshift galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and low-redshift galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in New Mexico.[7] 12 Jul 2007
Moon Zoo Annotation High-resolution images of the Moon's surface provided by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are used by volunteers to create detailed crater counts, mapping the variation in age of lunar rocks.[8][9] 16 Feb 2009
Solar Stormwatch Annotation The project uses data including video imagery from the twin STEREO spacecraft to track the formation and evolution of coronal mass ejections.[10] 21 Dec 2009
Old Weather Transcription Zooites use a special interface to digitally transcribe weather and sea ice data from the log books of United States Arctic exploration and research ships, that were at sea between 1850 and 1950.[11] The current data is the third phase of the project. 12 Oct 2010
The Milky Way Project Annotation Detecting bubbles in the interstellar medium which indicate regions where the early stages of star formation are taking place. The project uses infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope, as well as sub-millimetre data from Herschel.[12][13] 7 Dec 2010
Planet Hunters Annotation Identifying extrasolar planets from the light curves of stars recorded by the Kepler space telescope.[14] 16 Dec 2010
Ancient Lives Transcription Transcribing texts in Greek from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. The papyri belong to the Egypt Exploration Society and their texts will eventually be published and numbered in Society's Greco-Roman Memoirs series.[15][16][17] 26 Jul 2011
Whale FM Pattern matching Categorize the sounds made by killer whales and follow the travels of individual animals around the oceans.[18] Volunteers can both hear an audio clip of the whale sounds and view the data as a spectrogram. The project is run in conjunction with Scientific American.[19] 29 Nov 2011
SETILive Annotation SETILive is a project which attempts to use humans to identify potential signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life which may be missed by computer algorithms.[20] The data comes from radio observations by the Allen Telescope Array of stars in the Kepler field of view.[21] 29 Feb 2012
Seafloor Explorer Filtering Volunteers are asked to identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor to create a library of seafloor habitats.[18] The images are from a robotic camera that mapped the seafloor off the coast of the northeastern United States.[22] 13 Sep 2012
Cyclone Center Decision tree Classifying tropical cyclones by using a modified version of the Dvorak Technique. Volunteers are shown a series of images from infrared sensors on weather satellites and asked a number of questions to identify the type and strength of the storm.[18][23] 27 Sep 2012
Bat Detective Pattern matching Monitoring the status of bat populations by classifying the sounds they make for echolocation and social purposes.[24] The data are originally recorded using ultrasonic microphones; calls are played back at a slower speed within the range of human hearing; data are also shown visually in the form of a spectrogram.[25] 1 Oct 2012
Cell Slider Annotation Using images from Cancer Research UK volunteers help to classify archived cancer samples.[26][27] 24 Oct 2012
Snapshot Serengeti Filtering Classifying animals at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania using images gathered from 225 camera traps. The purpose is to study how species are distributed across the landscape and interact with each other.[28] 11 Dec 2012
Planet Four Annotation Users analyze images of the surface of Mars, taken near the Martian southern polar cap. Classifications include marking fans and blotches caused by sublimating gas and geysers underneath the carbon dioxide ice. Images come from the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[29][30][31][32] 8 Jan 2013
Space Warps Annotation Searching for gravitational lenses created by massive galaxies in distant space.[33][34] 8 May 2013
Notes from Nature Transcription Transcribing museum records to obtain historical biodiversity data.[35][36] 22 May 2013
Worm Watch Lab Annotation Watch videos of nematode worms to collect genetic data that will assist medical research.[37][38] 3 Jul 2013
Plankton Portal Filtering Classifying plankton from images gathered by the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System to understand how plankton types are distributed at a variety of ocean depths. The information can be used to map oceanic carbon dioxide levels, as plankton provide a valid indicator.[39][40][41] 27 Sep 2013
Radio Galaxy Zoo Annotation Identify radio-wavelength images of astrophysical jets in galaxies that are powered by accretion onto a black hole. The task is to correctly associate any radio components with an infrared image of the black hole's host galaxy.[42] 17 Dec 2013
Star Date: M83 Annotation Describe the shapes and colors of star clusters in the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83) using images from the Hubble Space Telescope.[43] 13 Jan 2014
Operation War Diary Transcription Transcribe British war diaries from World War I, helping historians to track troop movements, add to catalogue metadata, and delve into individual experiences of soldiers.[44][45] 14 Jan 2014
Disk Detective Filtering Identify dusty debris disks in the Milky Way galaxy that indicate stars in the process of forming planetary systems. Images come from NASA's WISE telescope, as well as the DSS2 and 2MASS surveys.[46] 30 Jan 2014
Sunspotter Ranking Examine images of sunspots and rank pairs of images according to their relative complexity. The science goal is to examine how the complexity of sunspots evolves over time and how they produce eruptions. Data for the project comes from the Michelson Doppler Instrument aboard the SOHO spacecraft.[47][48] 27 Feb 2014
Condor Watch Annotation Examine motion-capture images from Pinnacles National Park in northern California. Volunteers identify California condors and mark the distance to feeding sources such as animal carcasses.[49] 15 Apr 2014
Asteroid Zoo Annotation Volunteers look at sets of time-lapsed images to search for moving objects that could be undiscovered asteroids. Data comes from the Catalina Sky Survey telescopes in Arizona. The project is run in conjunction with Planetary Resources, which is focused on developing technology for asteroid mining.[50] 24 Jun 2014

Retired projects[edit]

According to the Zooniverse site, these projects are now retired:

Project Type Description Launch date Retirement date
Galaxy Zoo Mergers Pattern matching Compared images of galaxies discovered by the original Galaxy Zoo to simulations to study the dynamics of interacting galaxies.[51][52][53][54] 23 Nov 2009 25 Jun 2012
Galaxy Zoo Supernovae Annotation Used data from the Palomar Transient Factory survey to search for supernovae for quick follow-up study by telescopes around the world.[55][56][57] 13 Aug 2009 3 Aug 2012
Ice Hunters Annotation Identified Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) for potential future targets for the New Horizons spacecraft. Also identified variable stars and asteroids. It made use of human review of subtracted images from various telescopes.[58][59] 21 Jun 2011 early 2012
Old Weather Phases One & Two Transcription Between October 2010 and July 2012, some 16,400 volunteers transcribed the weather data from 1,090,745 pages[60] of the log books of World War 1 era Royal Navy ships. The project generated 1.6 million weather observations that will be used to improve climate modelling.[61][62] 12 Oct 2010 23 Jul 2012
Andromeda Project Annotation Used images from the Hubble Space Telescope to identify star clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy as well as background distant galaxies hidden in the star fields.[63][64] 5 Dec 2012 30 Oct 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Projects". Citizen Science Alliance. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Zoo 2 Launches!". 16 February 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Krevans, Fortson & Brusuelas (4 December 2012). "Crowdsourcing ancient texts". IAS, University of Minnesota]. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Zooniverse". Retrieved 18 Feb 2014. 
  5. ^ Coulter, Dauna (22 April 2011). "Citizen Scientists Making Incredible Discoveries". NASA. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Publications". Zooniverse. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Spiral, barred, elliptical and irregular: computers automatically classify galaxy shapes". RAS. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Geere, Duncan (24 May 2010). "Science Crowdsourcing a map of the moon". Wired. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "NASA Invites Public to Take Virtual Walk On The Moon". NASA. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Humankind sees the Sun as never before". UKSA. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Justin Gillis (2012). "Retrieving the weather of the past". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Hurt, Robert (7 December 2010). "Help Investigate Spitzer's Milky Way!". JPL. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Site Goes Live | The Milky Way Project
  14. ^ "NASA's Kepler Mission Announces Next Data Release to Public Archive". NASA. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  15. ^ https://www.zooniverse.org/project/ancientlives
  16. ^ Boyle, Alan (28 July 2011). "Help scientists decipher 'lost' gospel". MSNBC. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Armchair archaeologists asked to decipher ancient papyri (Wired UK)
  18. ^ a b c "Zooniverse". Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  19. ^ http://mura.sciam.com/pressroom/pr/corporate-press-releases/2011/emscientific-americanem-launches-citizen-science-whale-song-project-whale-fm/
  20. ^ Wakefield, Jane (29 February 2012). "Seti Live website to crowdsource alien life". BBC News Technology (Los Angeles, California). British Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  21. ^ SETILive: 2012 Update on Jill Tarter’s TEDPrize wish | TED Blog
  22. ^ Seafloor Explorer | Seafloor Explorer
  23. ^ Welcome to Cyclone Center! | Cyclone Center
  24. ^ Mark Kinver (Environment reporter) (3 October 2012). "Website calls for people to become 'bat detectives'". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  25. ^ Welcome to Bat Detective! | Bat Detective
  26. ^ "Zooniverse". Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Charity creates world's first citizen science project to speed up cancer research | Cancer Research UK
  28. ^ University of Minnesota researchers launch online citizen science project to study Serengeti animals | Discover | University of Minnesota
  29. ^ Zooniverse Archives - Citizen Science Center
  30. ^ James Holloway (15 January 2013). "Scientists need you to analyise images of Mars". gizmag. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  31. ^ Peter Rothman (16 January 2013). "Explore Mars and help planetary scientists understand Martian weather". Humanity+. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Planet Four and Stargazing Live | Zooniverse
  33. ^ Alan Boyle (7 May 2013). "'Engage ! Astronomers need your assistance to detect space warps". NBC News. Retrieved 15 August 2013. [dead link]
  34. ^ Citizen Scientists Wanted to Hunt for 'Space Warp' Galaxies | Dark Matter
  35. ^ "Zooniverse". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  36. ^ Help wanted: Public needed to uncover clues in natural history collections
  37. ^ "Zooniverse:Worm Watch Lab". Scientific American. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  38. ^ MRC Centenary | The Worm Watch Lab
  39. ^ "Plankton Portal". Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  40. ^ Liat Clark. "Plankton Portal uses citizen science to measure ocean health". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  41. ^ Plankton Portal uses crowd-sourcing to classify strange oceanic creatures - ScienceDaily
  42. ^ "Find black holes while you're on the bus". CSIRO. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  43. ^ Hubble Views Stellar Genesis in the Southern Pinwheel | NASA
  44. ^ BBC News - WW1 soldier diaries placed online by National Archives
  45. ^ Operation War Diary: First World War Unit Diaries go online to mark centenary | First World War Centenary
  46. ^ Launching Disk Detective: A New Citizen Science Website › Marketing For Scientists
  47. ^ Press Release - Communications Office - Trinity College Dublin
  48. ^ Trinity College Dublin launches Citizen Science Project
  49. ^ 'Condor Watch' enlists citizen scientists to help an endangered species - UC Santa Cruz
  50. ^ http://www.planetaryresources.com/2014/06/asteroid-zoo-live/
  51. ^ Johnston, Hamish (24 November 2009). "'Galaxy Zoo Mergers' opens today". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  52. ^ "Astronomers release galactic collision game". BBC. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  53. ^ Zooniverse Birthday! – Galaxy Zoo Mergers | Daily Zooniverse
  54. ^ Galaxy Zoo Mergers : How To Take Part
  55. ^ Grossman, Lisa (17 November 2010). "Help Scientists Hunt for Exploding Stars". Wired. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  56. ^ Hunt for Supernovae With Galaxy Zoo
  57. ^ Supernova Project Retires | Galaxy Zoo
  58. ^ "Citizen Scientists: Discover a New Horizons Flyby Target". NASA. 21 Jun 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  59. ^ Lakdawalla, Emily (2011-06-21). "The most exciting citizen science project ever (to me, anyway)". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  60. ^ Philip Brohan (2012). "Theres a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one". Oldweather.org. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  61. ^ Philip Brohan (2012). "One million six hundred thousand new observations". Oldweather.org. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  62. ^ oldWeather-Arctic launch event | Old Weather Blog
  63. ^ "Andromeda Project". Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  64. ^ U of U Astronomers Launch The Andromeda Project | KUER

External links[edit]