AN EASY & SIMPLE WAY TO HARNESS THE POWER OF CITIZEN SCIENTISTS VIA MOBILE
HOW TO CREATE A PROJECT
Are you looking for ways to gather information about our daily lives? Do you want to study bird migration, track river pollution, or explore traffic patterns in major cities? SENSR is a simple tool for creating and managing a mobile application that you can distribute to collect data.
On this website, you can create and maintain a project which will run on a mobile phone!
Before creating a project, please carefully read through the instruction below and prepare the following items:
A brief description about the project
a 114X114 image to use as an icon of the project
a 650X300 image to use as a main image of the project
First, you need to make an information page for the project. The purpose of this page is to describe what your project is about, who you are, why you are doing this, and how important this project is. Potential volunteers will decide whether or not to join your project after reading this page, so, make it clear, compelling, and attractive.
Go to the [Create Project] page and fill out the fields on the left side of the page. As you complete the form, your information will appear on the preview screen to the right.
The Project title represents your project in twenty-five characters or fewer. Make it unique, simple, and easy to remember. It is the first thing volunteers see.
The unique ID will be used as the project's main webpage URL and as a keyword for your project on a mobile app. It cannot be changed once created, and special characters and spaces are not allowed. Once you have created a project, you can give this ID to people so they can participate.
An email address is required for the main contact. We recommend to an email address that represents your organization or project.
A URL is not required, but, we strongly recommend to enter your URL for the project.
allows you to set aparticular region of action for your project. If activated, the state name of the approximate region will be displayed with the project name.
Select the "YES" radio button, and a new screen (see the right image) will appear so you can define the location on a map. The area covered by the circle approximates the area targeted by the project. Adjust the radius of circle by dragging the squared icon around the circumference.
If the location is not set, the target location will be set to your country. Please be aware that the system cannot limit people from outside the selected region to join the project, though.
If you turn the Filtering on, data becomes visible only to the project creator and will only be made public upon the project creator's authorization. In table view of reported data, there is an option to share the individual data at the end of each line. Click the button to display data to the public.
If you set Filtering off, reported data will automatically be displayed to the public.
An icon image will be displayed next to the project title on the mobile app. The proper size of an image is 114 x 114 pixels.
A title image will appear at the top of the information page. The proper size of an image is 650 x 300 pixels.
You can set up to Keywords 4 keywords to represent your project. Press [add keyword] button and enter keywords if you want to have more than one keyword for your project.
Next, you need to design the most important page: a screen for a data collection.
On the left, there are widgets you can drag and drop to the iPhone image. These widgets are different forms of data collection including a photo, text, and radio-button entry. You can only have one photo field but as many text and radio-button entry fields as you need. We recommend placing photos at the top of the screen and having no more than five or six data entry fields.
Don't forget to drag and drop the grey-colored title bar, "Data", before you drag and drop other data fields. The grey-colored title bar of a photo field appears automatically, but the data field title bar does not. You always need "Data" title bar that you have on top of the data fields.
Make sure you have one green-colored [submit] button. This button is used to submit data to the server. We strongly recommend placing the button at the bottom of all data fields.
Use radio-button type fields over text entry fields when possible. When volunteers use this page, it might be inappropriate or too difficult to enter text on a mobile screen. It lead to typos or incorrect data entry. Radio buttons would be much easier to select, and volunteers can describe their observations in a free form. So, choose wisely when deciding which type of data fields to use.
We also recommend no more than five or six data fields on one screen. Many of the volunteers who participate in the data collection may be novices, so try to make the screen simple and easy to use. If your project does not suit such simple data collection, consider this as a way to recruit new volunteers for your project. Once they are involved and have built a relationship with your organizations, you can request more sophisticated actions.
The most appropriate layout of the data collection page is the order as follow:
One data title
A couple of radio-button type fields
One text field
One submit button
To the right is a sample of the data collection page. We strongly recommend you model your data collection page after this example. If you have any questions or encounter difficulties when creating your project, please contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to create you own project? Click the button below and start building now.
Here is a short videoclip demonstrating how to create a mobile app using SENSR. If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can download it here.