From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of site
Citizen science
Area servedWorldwide
Launched2004; 20 years ago (2004)
Current statusActive

Observation.org is a website that scientists use to validate and exchange their scientific observations. The website and mobile apps, such as ObsIdentify, allow users to access this information. It has more than 238 million nature data entries and almost 82 million photos.[1] It is operated by the non-profit organization Observation International.[2]

Data quality[change | change source]

Experts check if the data is correct.[3] Artificial intelligence (AI) tools help handle a lot of data effectively.[4] Human experts have the final say on all of the supporting paperwork.[5]

History[change | change source]

Observation International started in 2003 with Waarneming.nl and grew to 50 million observations by 2017.[6] Waarneming.be launched in 2008 had 5,000 daily visitors, and reached 1.5 million different viewers after five years.[7] Location data was hidden during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep bird watchers safe.[8]

Quality assurance[change | change source]

Species experts select and organize a reference set of observations to make sure the quality is consistent. Automated validation supported by artificial intelligence[9] aids validators in managing the dataset, with human experts making the final validation decisions.[10][11]

Open data[change | change source]

Map of Observation.org data on GBIF

Observations are shared as open data on Global Biodiversity Information Facility GBIF.[12] This data has 82 million events, 19 million photos,[13], and 69,000 sound recordings.[14] The organization is the third largest publisher on GBIF.[15]

Use of the data[change | change source]

By April 2024, over 48,000 studies had referenced the dataset,[16] focusing on the study of how living things affect their environment and conservation. This has resulted in discovering new groups of similar living things (or species),[17][18] new ideas of animal behavior changes, the watching and following of harmful species[19][20][21][22][23] and sicknesses,[24][25][26] as we as, supprt for national and European life where lots of different living things all exist together. This is known as biodiversity.[27][28] Photos from Observation.org aid in improving species recognition technology.[29][30] Users participate in events such as the City Nature Challenge[31][32] and Biomaratón de Otoño[33] to take photos of nature, record sounds, and record video.

Views[change | change source]

  • The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology suggests using the app ObsIdentify to find alien species.[34]
  • NatureSpot recommends ObsIdentify and seek for identification.[35]
  • ObsIdentify is effective for invertebrates, according to the Sussex Wildlife Trust.[36]
  • NHSN prefers ObsIdentify, iNaturalist, seek, iRecord, and Picture This for identification.[37]
  • Birdwatch UK magazine praises ObsIdentify for being user-friendly and informative.[38]

International names[change | change source]

The following is a list of countries and how the Observation.org platform is primarily known:

Country Known as
Netherlands Waarneming.nl[39]
Dutch Caribbean Observation.org[40]
Belgium Waarnemingen.be[41] (Flanders) and Observations.be[42] (Wallonia)

References[change | change source]

  1. "Statistics". Observation.org. Retrieved 2024-03-14.
  2. "Observation International". observation-international.org. Retrieved 2024-03-14.
  3. "Validation". Observation.org. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  4. Van Eupen, Camille; Maes, Dirk; Herremans, Marc; Swinnen, Kristijn R.R.; Somers, Ben; Luca, Stijn (2021-03-15). "The impact of data quality filtering of opportunistic citizen science data on species distribution model performance". Ecological Modelling. 444. Bibcode:2021EcMod.44409453V. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2021.109453. hdl:1854/LU-8693490.
  5. "Biodiversitätsdaten, Citizen Science und Online-Erfassungssysteme" (PDF). ANLiegen Natur (in German). 43. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  6. "50 miljoen waarnemingen op Waarneming.nl - Vroege Vogels - BNNVARA". Vroege Vogels (in Dutch). 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  7. Vanreusel, Wouter (2012-12-03). "Waarnemingen.be rondt de kaap van 10 miljoen". www.naturetoday.com (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  8. van den Buijs, Dennis (2020-03-26). "Natuurpunt verbergt waarnemingen zeldzame vogels:"Samenscholing spotters vermijden"". vrtnws.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  9. "Validation". Observation.org. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  10. Van Eupen, Camille; Maes, Dirk; Herremans, Marc; Swinnen, Kristijn R.R.; Somers, Ben; Luca, Stijn (2021-03-15). "The impact of data quality filtering of opportunistic citizen science data on species distribution model performance". Ecological Modelling. 444. Bibcode:2021EcMod.44409453V. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2021.109453. hdl:1854/LU-8693490.
  11. "Biodiversitätsdaten, Citizen Science und Online-Erfassungssysteme" (PDF). ANLiegen Natur (in German). 43. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  12. "Observation.org". gbif.org. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  13. "Search occurrences -- Observation.org Image". gbif.org. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  14. "Search occurrences -- Observation.org Audio". gbif.org. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  15. "Search datasets". gbif.org. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  16. "Resources search -- Observation.org". gbif.org.
  17. Herremans, Marc; Gielen, Karin; Van Kerckhoven, Jos; Vanormelingen, Pieter; Veraghtert, Wim; Swinnen, Kristijn R.R.; Maes, Dirk (2021-07-29). "Abundant Citizen Science Data Reveal That the Peacock Butterfly Aglais io Recently Became Bivoltine in Belgium". Insects. 12 (8): 683. doi:10.3390/insects12080683. PMC 8396639. PMID 34442249.
  18. Dufour, Paul; et al. "Are Red-rumped Swallows starting to winter in the Western Palearctic?". Dutch Birding. 42: 111–113.
  19. Johnson, Brian Alan; Mader, André Derek; Dasgupta, Rajarshi; Kumar, Pankaj (March 2020). "Citizen science and invasive alien species: An analysis of citizen science initiatives using information and communications technology (ICT) to collect invasive alien species observations". Global Ecology and Conservation. 21: e00812. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00812.
  20. "Eerste vondst van de Aziatische hoornaar Vespa velutina nigrithorax in Nederland (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)". Nederlandse Faunistische Mededelingen (in Dutch). 49: 1–10. 2017.
  21. "De opmars van de Aziatische hoornaar (Vespa velutina) naar Nederland" (PDF). Entomologische Berichten (in Dutch). 78. 2018.
  22. Sevgili, Hasan; Yilmaz, Kaan (2022). "Contributions of citizen scientists to monitoring alien species: the case study on Giant Asian Mantes, Hierodula tenuidentata and H. patellifera (Mantodea: Mantidae)". Zoology in the Middle East. 68 (4): 350–358. doi:10.1080/09397140.2022.2145802. S2CID 254638249.
  23. Ravoet, Jorgen; Barbier, Yvan; Klein, Wim (2017). "First observation of another invasive mud dauber wasp in Belgium: Sceliphron caementarium (Drury, 1773) (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)". Bulletin de la Société royale belge d'Entomologie/Bulletin van de Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Entomologie. 153: 40–42.
  24. "Hittegolf bracht Afrikaanse oranje zonnewijzer naar België". natuurpunt.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  25. "Spoorkrekel duikt voor het eerst op in België". natuurpunt.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  26. "Twee nieuwe sprinkhanen in 2022: grote spitskop en spoorkrekel" (PDF). hetnatuurhistorisch.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  27. "Contribution of Observation.org to Ebba2 (Second European Breeding Bird Atlas)". agris.fao.org. Retrieved 2023-12-27.
  28. "EuroBirdPortal -- Partners". eurobirdportal.org. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  29. Schermer, Maarten; Hogeweg, Laurens (17 May 2018). Supporting citizen scientists with automatic species identification using deep learning image recognition models. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 2. Biodiversity Information and Standards. doi:10.3897/biss.2.25268. S2CID 56315355.
  30. Hogeweg, Laurens; Schermer, Maarten. Machine Learning Model for Identifying Dutch/ Belgian Biodiversity. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 3. Biodiversity Information and Standards. doi:10.3897/biss.3.39229.
  31. "City Nature Challenges in Österreich". citynaturechallenge.at (in German). Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  32. Kaufmann, Peter; et al. "Der Bioblitz Salzburg 2021 auf Observation.org – eine Citizen Science Bestandserfassung der urbanen Biodiversität Salzburgs" (PDF). Mitteilungen aus dem Haus der Natur Salzburg (in German). 28: 5–20. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  33. "Biomaratón de otoño 2022". miteco.gob.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  34. Brown, Peter (2023). "Using Citizen Science with alien Species" (PDF). UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  35. "Apps for Identification". www.naturespot.org.uk. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  36. "The good, the bad and the middling - ID apps". Sussex Wildlife Trust. 2023-08-14. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  37. Coleman, Ellie (2023-11-29). "Helpful Apps for Identifying Wildlife". Natural History Society of Northumbria. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  38. Jones, Josh (August 2020). "The ideal companion - ObsIdentify app for IOS and Android". Pubhtml5. p. 49. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  39. "Interview with Hisko de Vries". overmeersevogels.com (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  40. "Observation.org". dcnanature.org. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  41. "Natuurpunt Studie -- Waarnemingen.be". natuurpunt.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  42. ""OBSERVATIONS.BE", UN PORTAIL D'ENCODAGE POUR TOUS". natagora.be (in French). Retrieved 2023-12-25.

Other websites[change | change source]