Social.Water - A crowdsourcing tool for environmental data acquisition

Computers & Geosciences
By:  and 



Remote telemetry has a long history of use for collection of environmental measurements. With the rise of mobile phones and SMS text-messaging capacity, many members of the general pubic carry communications equipment in their pockets at all times. Enabling the general public to provide environmental data through text messages has the potential both to provide additional data to scientific projects and also to raise awareness of the projects through participation. Hydrologic measurements – some of which can be made without training, involve a single measurement, and are often made in rural areas – are well-suited to text-message conveyance. Many other environmental measurements are similarly well-suited for this technology. Social.Water is a software package, written in Python, that collects, parses, and categorizes text messages sent to a dedicated phone number, updates a simple database, and posts both graphical results and the database on the Web. Social.Water was designed as the backend to the Crowdhydrology project and is written in an object-oriented design that makes customization and modification straightforward.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Social.Water - A crowdsourcing tool for environmental data acquisition
Series title Computers & Geosciences
DOI 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.06.015
Volume 49
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Computers and Geosciences
First page 164
Last page 169