Earth Challenge 2020: Understanding and Designing for Data Quality at Scale

2020-01-30T20:34:53Z (GMT) by Anne Bowser
April 22nd, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth day. In recognition of this milestone Earth Day Network, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the U.S. Department of State are launching Earth Challenge 2020 as the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign. For 2020, the project focuses on six priority areas: air quality, water quality, insect populations, plastics pollution, food security, and climate change. For each of these six areas, one work stream will focus on collaborating with existing citizen science projects to increase the amount of open and findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data. A second work stream will focus on designing tools to support both existing and new citizen science activities, including a mobile application for data collection; an open, API-enabled data integration platform; data visualization tools; and, a metadata repository and data journal.
A primary value of Earth Challenge 2020 is recognizing, and elevating, ongoing citizen science activities. Our approach seeks first to document a range of data quality practices that citizen science projects are already using to help the global research and public policy community understand these practices and assess fitness-for-use. This information will be captured primarily through the metadata repository and data journal. In addition, we are leveraging a range of data quality solutions for the Earth Challenge 2020 mobile app, including designing automated data quality checks and leveraging a crowdsourcing platform for expert-based data validation that will help train machine learning (ML) support. Many of the processes designed for Earth Challenge 2020 app data can also be applied to other citizen science data sets, so maintaining information on processing level, readiness level, and provenance is a critical concern. The goal of this presentation is to offer an overview of key Earth Challenge 2020 data documentation and data quality practices before inviting the ESIP community to offer concrete feedback and support for future work.

This presentation was given at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Winter Meeting held in Bethesda, MD in January 2020.