From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main zooniverse.jpg
Type of site
Citizen science web portal
Available inEnglish, German, Polish
OwnerCitizen Science Alliance[1]
Created byFingerprint Digital Media
Launched12 December 2009;
13 years ago
Current statusOnline

Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal owned and operated by the Citizen Science Alliance. It is home to some of the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects.[3] The organization grew from the original Galaxy Zoo project and now hosts dozens of projects which allow volunteers to participate in crowdsourced scientific research. It has headquarters at Oxford University and the Adler Planetarium.[4] 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.[5]

As of 14 February 2014, the Zooniverse community consisted of more than 1 million registered volunteers.[6] By March 2019, that number had reportedly risen to 1.6 million.[7] The volunteers are often collectively referred to as "Zooites".[8][9] The data collected from the various projects has led to the publication of more than 100 scientific papers.[10] A daily news website called 'The Daily Zooniverse' provides information on the different projects under the Zooniverse umbrella, and has a presence on social media.

The principal investigator (P.I.) of the project, Chris Lintott, published a book called The Crowd & the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse.[11]

Citizen Science Alliance[edit]

The Zooniverse is hosted by the Citizen Science Alliance, which is governed by a board of directors from seven institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States. The partners are the Adler Planetarium, Johns Hopkins University, University of Minnesota, National Maritime Museum, University of Nottingham, Oxford University and Vizzuality.[12]


Art projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch


AnnoTate Annotate Volunteers on Zooniverse can help transcribe/annotate papers from many British artists. This project has over 50,000 documents from the Tate Archive. 1 Sep 2015
Scribes of Cairo Geniza.jpg Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Classify Volunteers classify old scripts written in Hebrew and Arabic. This helps prepare the scripts for annotation. The second phase of this project is being planned to launch in Spring 2018, which includes annotation.[13] This project was launched by University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the Princeton Geniza Project, the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Genizah at Cambridge University Library[14] 8 Aug 2017
Criminal Characters Transcription Volunteers help in investigating the criminal careers and life histories of Australian offenders from the end of the convict period through to the Second World War.[15][16] 6 May 2019
Davy Notebook Project Transcription and Filteration Volunteers help to transcribe the manuscript notebooks of Sir Humphry Davy – one of the most significant and famous figures in the scientific and literary culture of early nineteenth-century Britain, Europe, and America. 11 Jul 2019
Saint George on a Bike Transcription Help scientists collect data for training an automatic caption generator for European visual art (paintings, prints, etc.) dating from the 12th to the 18th century 29 Mar 2022
Poets & Lovers Transcription Poets & Lovers aims to transcribe the diaries and related papers of two major women poets of the fin de siècle, Katherine Harris Bradley and Edith Emma Cooper, who published as "Michael Field". Much of this material has only been accessible through archives in the United Kingdom until now. This project will make their material freely available to all readers in standards-compliant web and downloadable formats.[17] 21 June 2022

Space projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date
Galaxyzoo.jpg 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.[18] 12 Jul 2007
Planethunters.jpg Planet Hunters Annotation Identifying extrasolar planets from the light curves of stars recorded by the Kepler space telescope.[19] 16 Dec 2010
Mars planet four.jpg Planet Four Annotation 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.[20][21][22][23] 8 Jan 2013
Planet Four: Terrains Filtering Analyze images of the surface of Mars, taken by the low resolution Context camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, to identify future targets for the spacecraft's higher resolution HiRISE camera to investigate.[24] 1 July 2015
Radio Meteor Zoo Annotation Help identify meteors in radio data detected by the Belgian Radio Meteor Stations. 12 Aug 2016
Backyard Worlds logo.png Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Classifying Help scan the realm beyond Neptune for brown dwarfs and Planet Nine. Images come from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.[25] 15 Feb 2017
SuperWASP Variable Stars Filtering Help in identifying the most unusual variable stars by classifying light curves recorded by SuperWASP. 5 Sep 2018
Zwicky's Quirky Transients Filtering Volunteers search for rare and unusual transients from data taken by the Zwicky Transient Facility. 23 Jan 2019
Disk Detective Logo.png Disk Detective 2.0 Filtering Volunteers spot the disks around nearby stars where exoplanets form and dwell. 2019
Radio Galaxy Zoo: LOFAR Annotation Volunteers help in finding supermassive black holes, starforming galaxies and active galactic nuclei from data gathered by the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope. 25 Feb 2020
AI4 Mars Annotation Help scientists teach mars rover how to identify martian terrain using artificial intelligence. 23 Jun 2020
Burst From Space Filtering Volunteers help in finding Fast Radio Bursts from data detected by the CHIME telescope and to train machine learning software to learn to detect such bursts on their own. 30 Oct 2020
Citizen ASAS-SN Filtering Classify the light curves of variable stars and help researchers find the most unusual ones. 5 Jan 2021
Dark Energy Explorers Filtering Volunteers identify distant galaxies to help measure dark energy when the universe was just ~2-3 billion years old. 23 Feb 2021
Active Asteroids Filtering Examine images from DECam to find comet-like tails, with the aim being to identify active asteroids.[26][27] 31 Aug 2021
Planet Hunters NGTS Filtering Identify extrasolar planets by analysing light curves recorded with the Next-Generation Transit Survey. 18 Oct 2021
SuperWASP: Black Hole Hunters Filtering Finding black holes by searching for symmetrical peaks in brightness of light curves of stars caused by gravitational microlensing. 26 Oct 2021
Bursts from Space: MeerKAT Filtering Help in discovering and identifying compact objects, stellar flares, supernovae and their remnants, kilonovae, fast radio bursts, distant galaxies with active centres and more from data gathered by the MeerKAT telescope. 7 Dec 2021
Solar Jet Hunters Annotation Study images of solar jets, small coronal mass ejections from the Sun, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. 7 December 2021
Rosetta Zoo Annotation Find changes on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by analyzing images from the Rosetta spacecraft and to aid understanding of the history of the Solar System. 5 May 2022
Jovian Vortex Hunter Annotation/Filtering Volunteers help find interesting cloud features on Jupiter.[28][29] 20 June 2022
Cloudspotting on Mars Annotation Volunteers search for mesopheric clouds on Mars with data from the Mars Climate Sounder on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[30] 28 June 2022
Zoo Gems image logo.jpg Gems of the Galaxy Zoos Filtering Zoogems is an ongoing, gap-filler project using the Hubble Space Telescope to take images of unusual objects found by volunteers classifying data from both Galaxy Zoo (GZ) and Radio Galaxy Zoo (RGZ). 2 February 2018

Nature and climate projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date
Snapshot serengeti.jpg 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.[31] 11 Dec 2012
NfN.jpg Notes from Nature Transcription Transcribing museum records to obtain historical biodiversity data.[32][33][34] 22 Apr 2013
Avatar kelp.png Floating Forests Annotation Volunteers look at satellite images to search for large masses of giant kelp in coastal ocean environments.[35] 8 Aug 2014
Main zooniverse.jpg Chicago Wildlife Watch Annotation Volunteers assist Lincoln Park Zoo to review millions of motion sensor images to identify and study wild animals in the urban environment.[36][37] 11 Sep 2014
Penguin Watch Annotation Remote camera images of areas in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Peninsula are tagged for detections of penguins of various species. Scientists aim to measure changes in the timing of penguin breeding, nest survival rates, the rates of predation on penguin chicks, and determining where colonies overwinter at breeding sites.[38][39] 17 Sep 2014
Chimp & See Annotation By identifying individual chimpanzees from videos and highlighting examples of tool use and other behaviour patterns help scientists, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, understand chimp culture, population size and demographics in specific regions of Africa.[40] 22 April 2015
Wildebeest Watch Filtering Interpret the movement of wildebeest in images from camera traps in the Serengeti National Park to help scientists better map their migration movements and to understand the collective intelligence of herds.[41] 1 July 2015
Whales as Individuals Annotation Mark details on photographs of whale flukes to identify individual animals and to help computers learn to do the same.[42] 1 July 2015
Wildcam Gorongosa Annotation Identify animals in trail camera photographs taken in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.[43] 1 September 2015
Fossil Finder Annotation Document surface images from fossil bearing landscapes in the Turkana Basin in northern Kenya to identify potential sites of fossils and stone tools for further investigation.[44] November 2015
Snapshot Wisconsin (formerly, Wisconsin Wildlife Watch) Annotation Examine camera trap images from Wisconsin to identify animals and help scientists better understand trends in the distribution of wildlife populations in the state.[45] 8 January 2016
Western Shield - Camera Watch Annotation Examine camera trap images from western Australia to help the Western Shield project manage the impact of feral foxes and cats on the regions' native wildlife. 7 April 2016
Beluga Bits Decision Tree Examine underwater photos of wild Beluga whale and identify the age, sex, group size and look for identifying marks to recognize beluga that return to this location year after year. 11 June 2018
PELIcams Filtering and Annotation Volunteers examine images from Gunnison Island located in the Great Salt Lake to learn more about the nesting behaviours, extreme weather and predators of the American white pelican.[46] 14 September 2018
Nebraska Wildlife Watch Filtering Volunteers classify images of Nebraskan wildlife and help find and locate Eastern spotted skunks in Nebraska. 24 October 2018
Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild Filtering Volunteers help in identifying the wildlife of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. 20 December 2018
Notes from Nature - WeDigFLPlants Transcription Volunteers help scientists to understand changes to the distribution and abundance of the flora of Florida, especially the components that are rare/endangered or introduced/invasive or of high economic value. The data gathered from this projectare also critical to curators of herbaria who manage the specimens for use in perpetuity.[47] 9 May 2019
Notes from Nature - CalBug Transcription In 2010, funded by the National Science Foundation, the eight major terrestrial arthropod collections in California formed CalBug, a collaborative effort to digitize and georeference insects and spiders collected throughout California, adding hundreds of thousands of records to the In 2010, funded by the National Science Foundation, the eight major terrestrial arthropod collections in California formed CalBug, a collaborative effort to digitize and georeference insects and spiders collected throughout California, adding hundreds of thousands of records to the California Terrestrial Arthropods Database.[48] 9 May 2019
Wildlife of Los Angeles Filteration Volunteers help in identifying Urban wildlife in Los Angeles in order to help city planners tomake educated decisions about wildlife when planning future developments.[49] 14 May 2019
Mapping Change Annotation Transcribe data from hand-written museum specimen labels to map biodiversity in the Midwestern US, to measure climate change.

This data will become part of the Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas, the permanent digital record of the Bell Museum of Natural History's collections.

20 Sep 2020

Biology Projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date
Etch a Cell Drawing Volunteers draw around an object of interest, such as a cell membrane or mitochondria in images taken with an electron microscope at the Francis Crick Institute.[50] 6 Apr 2017

Humanities projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date
Emigrant City Transcription Explore the history of New York City by transcribing mortgage and bond ledgers of the Emigrant Savings Bank from between 1851 and 1921, held by the New York Public Library.[51] 1 December 2015
Measuring the ANZACs Transcription Transcribe documents to help create a comprehensive database of New Zealand war history, comprising the names, jobs, birthplaces and health at enlistment of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the New Zealand Army during World War One.[52] 14 August 2015
Beyond borders: Transcribing historical Maine land documents Transcription Create full-text transcriptions of manuscripts dated 1625 to 1893 from Pejepscot Proprietors, Kennebec Proprietors and Barclay collections. Summer 2020
World Architecture Unlocked Transcription Transcribe one of the most comprehensive and mysterious collections of architectural photography in the world to create a digitised collection. 27 Oct 2020
Addressing Health Transcription Transcribe the health histories of Victorian postal workers in order to find out how ill health affected the working lives of thousands of postal workers. 26 Jan 2021
Voices Through Time: The Story of Care Transcription Transcribe the records of Coram, the UK's first children's charity, to tell the story of care from where it began. 7 Dec 2021

Physics projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date
Gravity Spy Filtering Volunteers classify different types of noise to improve the sensitivity of gravitational-wave detectors and help scientists at the LIGO and Virgo interferometers search for gravitational waves.[53] 12 Oct 2016
Steelpan Vibrations Drawing Help classify vibration patterns on the Caribbean Steelpan to learn more about how this drum works.[54] 23 Aug 2017
New Particle Search at CERN Annotation Volunteers attempt to locate deflected vertices, electron, muon and photon signatures, and Higgs bosons, training machine learning algorithms on still images of collisions and particle decay in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider run by CERN.[55][56] 19 October 2021
GWitchHunters Filtering Volunteers classify different types of noise to better understand gravitational waves detected by the Virgo interferometer and LIGO.[57] 16 November 2021
Cosmic Muon Images Annotation Volunteers annotate graphs to find particle tracks as part of muon tomography experiments.[58] 11 January 2022

Retired projects[edit]

Logo Project Type Description Launch date End date
Solarstormwatch.jpg 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.[59] 21 Dec 2009
AnnoTate Annotate Volunteers on Zooniverse can help transcribe/annotate papers from many British artists. This project has over 50,000 documents from the Tate Archive. 1 Sep 2015
Galaxy Zoo Mergers Pattern matching Compared images of galaxies discovered by the original Galaxy Zoo to simulations to study the dynamics of interacting galaxies.[60][61][62][63] 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.[64][65][66] 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.[67][68] 21 Jun 2011 early 2012
Oldweather.jpg 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[69] 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.[70][71] 12 Oct 2010 23 Jul 2012
Andromeda project avatar.jpg 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.[72][73] 5 Dec 2012 30 Oct 2013
Moonzoo.jpg 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.[74][75] 16 Feb 2009 Mar 2016
Spacewarps.jpg Space Warps Annotation Searched for gravitational lenses created by massive galaxies in distant space.[76][77] 8 May 2013 2014
Star Date: M83 Annotation Described the shapes and colors of star clusters in the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83) using images from the Hubble Space Telescope.[78] 13 Jan 2014 2014
Whalefm.jpg Whale FM Pattern matching Categorized the sounds made by killer whales and followed the travels of individual animals around the oceans.[79] Volunteers heard an audio clip of the whale sounds and viewed the data as a spectrogram. The project was run in conjunction with Scientific American.[80] 29 Nov 2011 Mar 2015
Seafloor.jpg Seafloor Explorer Filtering Identified species and ground cover in images of the seafloor to create a library of seafloor habitats.[79] The images were from a robotic camera that mapped the seafloor off the coast of the northeastern United States.[81] 13 Sep 2012
Galaxy Zoo: Bar Lengths Annotation Identify and measure the bars in spiral galaxies from 8,000 images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.[82] 1 July 2015
Higgs Hunters Annotation Uncover the building blocks of the universe. Help search for unknown exotic particles in the Large Hadron Collider data.[83] 26 Nov 2014
Milky Way Project.jpg 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.[84][85] 7 Dec 2010
Mutual Muses Annotate Users can help transcribe letters between Lawrence Alloway and Sylvia Sleigh. Users transcribe one page at a time. 1 Aug 2017
Logo for the 'Parochial Archive Project in Rome' hosted on Zooniverse.org Parochial Archive Project in Rome Annotate Users can help transcribe documents from various Roman parochial sources dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Users transcribe one folio at a time. 12 Dec 2017
Shakespeare's World Annotate Users help annotate and transcribe many documents from William Shakespeare's time. This project helps users and Oxford learn what life was like for Shakespeare and his comrades. 10 Dec 2015 -
Peter Pan disk.png 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.[86] 30 Jan 2014
Oldweather.jpg 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.[87] The current data is the third phase of the project. 12 Oct 2010
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.[79][88] 27 Sep 2012
Bat Detective Pattern matching Monitor the status of bat populations by classifying the sounds they make for echolocation and social purposes.[89] 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.[90] 1 Oct 2012
Plankton avatar.jpg 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.[91][92][93] 27 Sep 2013
Avatar condors.jpg 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.[94] 15 Apr 2014
Orchid Observers Transcription Photograph wild orchids throughout the summer of 2015 and/or annotate images and transcribe data from the orchid collection of the Natural History Museum, London.[95] 23 Apr 2015
Jungle Rhythms Transcription Transcribe hand-drawn observations, made between 1937 and 1958, of life cycle events for over 2,000 trees in the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[96] February 2016
Ancient-lives.jpeg 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.[97][98][99][100] 26 Jul 2011
Avatar wardiaries.jpg 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.[101][102] 14 Jan 2014
Science Gossip Annotation Classify illustrations from the pages of early science journals and periodicals digitized by the Biodiversity Heritage Library.[103] 2015
Cell Slider Annotation Using images from Cancer Research UK volunteers help to classify archived cancer samples.[104][105] 24 Oct 2012
Wormwatchlab.jpg Worm Watch Lab Annotation Watch videos of nematode worms to collect genetic data that will assist medical research.[106][107] The classifications offer data to researchers on brain and gene function.[108] The nematode species studied is Caenorhabditis elegans.[109] 3 Jul 2013
Avatar asteroids.jpg Asteroid Zoo Annotation Examine 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.[110] 24 Jun 2014
Radio galaxy zoo.jpg 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.[111] 17 Dec 2013
Sunspotter.jpg 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.[112][113] 27 Feb 2014
SETILive Annotation SETILive was a project which attempted to use humans to identify potential signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life which may be missed by computer algorithms.[114] The data came from radio observations by the Allen Telescope Array of stars in the Kepler field of view.[115] 29 Feb 2012 12 Oct 2014

Project Builder[edit]

Zooniverse supports Project Builder, a tool that allows anyone to create their own project by uploading a dataset of images, video files or sound files. In Project Builder a Project Owner creates a workflow for the projects, a tutorial, a field guide and the talk forum of the Project and can add collaborators, researchers and moderators to their project. The moderators for example will have partial administrator rights in the talk, but cannot change anything concerning the workflow.[116]

See also[edit]


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