This work includes a graduate research paper and presentation exploring techniques for mapping eBird data coverage and quantifying the utility of the data. My school nominated me to present this work at the 2014 Minnesota GIS/LIS conference at which I won 2nd Place for the paper and presentation. You can view the paper and presentation as a PDF below.
In 2002, The Cornell Lab or Ornithology and National Audubon Society launched the eBird project – a real-time, online checklist to collect bird observations submitted by the public. As an increasingly successful citizen science project, eBird has just as much to teach us about publicly-derived data collection as it does about birds. This project focuses on mapping patterns of eBird participation to develop best practices for visualizing the spatial and temporal quality and quantity of submitted data. By sharing data coverage information with the public in a cartographically clear manner, we can enhance understanding of the project and improve the utility of submissions by inspiring participants to collect more data in poorly covered areas. While this project focuses specifically on visualizing eBird data coverage, the work has broader applications for improving how any crowd-sourced data collection project educates its participants.