Globe Observer
Photo Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman

Project: Observer or Globe Observer

Harness your inner Sherlock: now you can use your intuition and the power of observation to help science!

NASA and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program have developed the Globe Observer App that encourages everyone to make environmental observations that compliment NASA’s satellite data. Anyone with a smartphone can participate in the data collection process by submitting their own observations to help scientists study Earth and the Global Environment. The information submitted by users from all across the world will then be used by scientists to validate, interpret and understand the satellite data collected by NASA from space.

The app currently offers citizen scientists with two unique capabilities: GLOBE Clouds and GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper. GLOBE Clouds basically allows users to take photographs of cloud cover at their location and compare it with NASA’s satellite data. Although the atmospheric presence, particularly clouds in the sky, may seem ordinary and mundane, the impact they have on our planet is profound and hardly ignorable. Interestingly, a deeper understanding of the changes in cloud cover in relation to the changes in atmospheric presence is recognized as being one of the most important factors in predicting future climate. Think about the infinite implications of the data that you submit! Not only will this speed up the process of cloud cover data collection, the diversity of information received will offer great insight into how cloud cover affects the environment allowing scientists to make projections of future changes in global climate easily.

The GLOBE program further extends this international education and citizen science project by offering the GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper functionality in the Globe Observer app, which allows users to identify mosquito habitats, observe their breeding places, record data on larval development and help reduce the potential threat of mosquito borne diseases. It goes without saying that the Globe Observer App has managed to establish a solid platform for modern citizen scientists to come together, make scientific observations and contribute scientific data to NASA and GLOBE, which would otherwise be too expensive and time-consuming to collect.

With an easy-to-use layout and a simple yet highly accessible design interface, it takes seconds to navigate you way through the app and start making observations. Globe Observer App is free and available for download on both iOS and Android, so you can volunteer from the comforts of your home. Time to use your smartphones for science, folks!

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