BowerBird is Australia's first, home-grown Citizen Science website. What's the difference between being a Citizen and being a Citizen Scientist? If you upload a picture of a Koala to Flickr or Facebook you are a Citizen; if you upload that same images to BowerBird you are a Citizen Scientist - Why? Because BowerBird asks you where and when you took the photo. These are the spatial and temporal information components that turn an image without such information into a scientifically valuable record. Science tracks species in time and space and without these pieces of information, there is no scientific value in a record without this information.
There are two great sayings about this contribution to science. One is from Harvard Professor E.O. Wilson (he created the word Biodiversity). He said: "Knowledge does not become science until it is shared." And the second such comment comes from the popular "Myth Buster" TV series: They said: "The difference between screwing around and doing science is writing it down!".
BowerBird acts just like your local Field Naturalist Club. In a club, people with a common and shared interest come together once a month to share their new finds and to seek help from someone else in the club. You can do all of this in BowerBird except it is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
In BowerBird, you can join Projects that interest you or follow people you know or others you think are making interesting contributions. You can sit and watch all of this activity and hopefully you will then be encouraged to add your own images and information - it's not hard but is so worthwhile. Everyone in the Project will enjoy seeing your contributions and if you do not know the identification of what you have photographed, then there is usually someone in the Project who can help.
The value from a BowerBird record is realised when it is uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia website. This website is called an aggregator as it brings together information from all Australian Museums and Herbaria. People can go to this website and ask to see the distribution of the Australian Koala, then overlay it with its known eucalypt foodplants, then look into the future where the climate temperature may rise 0.5C or 1C or even 5C and ALA will plot the changed distribution models for both the Koala and its foodplant under these changed conditions. The ALA website is mainly used by Australian and overseas scientists BUT these scientists rely solely on the data in the ALA website. Citizen Science can make major contributions to the ALA dataset - just add a photo and tell us where and when you took it: It's that simple.
I have put together a BowerBird User Guide at: http://researchdata.museum.vic.gov.au/padil/BowerBird/BowerBird_User_Guide.htm
Finally, I am most happy to assist anyone starting out with BowerBird. My name is Ken Walker and I am a senior curator at Museum Victoria in Melbourne. My email address is: email@example.com
Type of content
Includes: point occurrence data, images.
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For all other material, including the content, design and source code of BowerBird other than user-contributed material, is under the Open Source and Creative Commons licenses. You may use this material.
Looking up... the number of records that can be accessed through the Atlas of Living Australia. This resource was last checked for updated data on 18 May 2019. The most recent data was published on 17 May 2019.Click to view records for the BowerBird resource.
Metadata last updated on 2019-05-18 10:32:23.0