Robert J. Houghton, Human Factors Research Group, University of Nottingham
Citizen science projects allow the interested general public to participate in science projects via the internet. A primary motivation for this activity would be familiar to ergonomists from Fitts’ List: arranging the crowd sourcing of human intelligence to analyse massive datasets generally resistant to algorithmic processing. Other motivations typically include outreach, education and, as much as possible, democratising science by allowing the general public access to high quality scientific data. However, to date, there is the significant lack of a holistic conceptualisation of these projects to guide their design and governance.
We present a systems ergonomics model of citizen science together with experimental data in support of the release of a citizen project that will allow users to discover and report terrain changes on the surface of Mars as part of the EU FP7 iMars project. This project brings together and co-registers imagery collected over the last 40 years of Mars exploration thus allowing the examination of changes on a surprisingly active planetary surface that range from the movement of dunes to the appearance of new impact craters