Changing Planet

Crowd-sourcing the BioBlitz

A dragonfly submitted to Project Noah as part of the 2013 National Geographic BioBlitz. Photo by Sean O’Connor.

Pulling off a National Geographic BioBlitz involves a lot of people: park rangers, scientist volunteers, thousands of K-12 students, a lot of curious visitors, and online observers. And it is an all-hands-on-deck kind of event—using technology we are able to crowd source the identification of species, so specialists and naturalists not at the park can pipe in and help with identification. It’s a crowd-sourced BioBlitz!

We are using Project Noah at the event to capture and share photos of species from the field. Participants can download the app (for iPhone and Android), join the mission, and submit their spottings. Other Project Noah members have been pitching in online to help identify organisms in the shared photos.

The insect, spider, and other invertebrate teams of scientists are also using a community called BugGuide to help with identification. These technologies are changing the BioBlitz game by allowing others to participate virtually and join in on the excitement.

You can also use Project Noah to start your own missions, whether it is for a bioblitz in a local park or a schoolyard, or in your everyday encounters with wildlife in your yard, on the sidewalk, and even in your home. There is a lot of amazing biodiversity to discover out there, so join us in our bioblitz efforts and start your own!


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