Let it Flow, the AMBER Citizen Science programme
Driving forward with connectivity in Milan: 2nd AMBER General Assembly
August 10, 2017
Knowledge exchange on AMBER
August 15, 2017


Joost van Deelen

Bas Deelman
Citizen science has become a popular tool for research projects in many scientific fields. Citizen science relies on crowdsourcing and provides some great opportunities to strengthen research projects. The most important of these opportunities include the acquisation of more data, being able to undertake public engagement with science and increased cost effectiveness compared to monitoring by professionals.
Citizen science is also an important component of the AMBER project. One of the major outputs of the project is compiling a pan-European atlas of barriers. This is done by combining existing databases. The AMBER project will develop a citizen science programme called "Let it flow". This programme is meant to supplement the Atlas with new data gathered by citizens and engage with the public on the topic of barriers and their impacts.
The Let it flow citizen science programme includes a smartphone application. With this application, called “Barrier tracker”, participants can record new barriers into a database. Including the smartphone application in the citizen science programme allows for the gathering of more data and greater spatial coverage of records than would have been possible using conventional surveys. Participants can use the smartphone application when encountering a barrier and will contribute data to the general database. Typical data gathered includes a photo of the barrier, the location of the barrier and the height of the barrier.
The Let it flow citizen science programme combines the Barrier tracker app with a citizen science website. Through this website citizens can interact with the data gathered throught the Barrier tracker app and participate in further citizen science excercises of the AMBER project. Amongst other things users will be able to identify the barrier type of records uploaded and learn about the impact of barriers on streams and rivers.
The AMBER project team is working hard on the Barrier tracker smartphone application and citizen science website, allowing citizen to map barriers in European rivers. Follow AMBER on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for the newsletter to know when they become available!