A Toolbox for Understanding and Implementing a Citizens’ Observatory on Air Monitoring
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This chapter explores the growing trend of using innovative tools, particularly low cost micro-sensors and mobile apps, to facilitate the citizen participation process within an environmental monitoring programme. Special focus will be put on tools that are linked to major initiatives that form citizens’ observatories (CitObs) on air quality and that address novel ways to involve citizens. On the basis of providing an overview of a Citizens’ Observatory’ Toolbox (COT) developed in the EU FP7 CITI-SENSE project, this chapter introduces a number of tools that together provide the foundation of a complete citizens’ observatory. We present these tools from two perspectives, the users’ and the developers’ perspective. Special emphasis will be placed on those tools developed specifically for the nine case study locations within the CITI-SENSE project and on the technical elements and frameworks that can be further exploited for the creation of new citizens’ observatories in the future. In addition, this chapter highlights the usage of these tools in order to support citizens’ involvement within environmental monitoring of air quality, particularly for the collection of data and observations via sensors, mobile apps and surveys. This chapter will also touch on analysis and visualisation of observations through software widgets and web portals.
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