Citizen Science Data Usage

Animated maps showing migration patterns are produced from eBird data by researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This image shows the occurrence range for Orchard Orioles in late spring.



To understand the potential value and applications of freely available, carefully curated open citizen science data, our research team is working with partners from the University of Michigan and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on a small study of eBird data users’ practices and outcomes. Survey responses are currently under analysis; respondents documented a broad range of uses for eBird data across distinct contexts, including numerous conservation applications, academic research studies, educational uses at every level, and leisure-related uses, such as record-keeping in the birding community. The inclusion of effort information—documentation of the time and place that observations were made—was considered critical for most uses of the data.