The last weekend the Citizen Cyberscience Centre in collaboration with Medialab-Prado,Ibercivis, the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Citizen Cyberlab project and Socientizeorganized a citizen science hackfest in Madrid.
The first day we have some talks around citizen science given. Several projects were presented like CrowdCrafting.org, EpiCollect, or PlazaScience and lots of questions were asked, opening a discussion about how citizen science should not “abuse” the citizens by using them or the openness around science in general (see all the photos of the event).
On Saturday the morning started with some minor introductions around the proposals for the day, splitting the audience in four major teams:
The spectrometer team created around 8 different spectrometers. The team used different materials for building the body like plain paper or cardboard. The best material was cardboard, as it was less translucent, however, due to the exploration of using paper, we also discovered that the best solution was to use black duct tape to cover all the body so it was “almost” light proof. Finally the team started to take some spectrum from white light and they looked really beautiful.
The team working on the Analysis of dissemination perception, discussed around a simple method to involve an audience in a theater show, a science festival, etc. in a way that the organizers could create a visual map of the happiness of people after watching the show. Their idea was to create a cube where each face will have a different color (they also mentioned to use colored QR codes) that will express how much the person liked the show. These cubes will be probably a foldable paper gadget that could be placed in each seat, or given to the spectators when they enter the venue. Then, at the end of the show, the spectators should stand up, choose a color, and face it to the ceiling of the room. A set of cameras placed on the ceiling would take a picture of the “mood”, analyze the chosen colors and show on stage how happy people are.
The team that worked on building a corpus around happiness analyzed different published papers around this subject before moving forward. Their discussed almost every detail around how sentiments and perception could be measured: in sentiments there is cognition (humans respond in seconds) while in basic emotions there is not (humans respond in tenths of a second). Based on these ideas and feedback they classified the basic emotions that could be measured using tweets: happiness, sadness, anger, repugnance and fear. The team selected only one of the mentioned emotions to build a first prototype with CrowdCrafting, the only missing item was a topic to measure. The day before, Spain had the King’s cup final and due to all the emotions and feelings expressed on tweets they decided to use it for analyzing the emotion of happiness from zero to five. The next screenshot shows one of the retrieved tweets using the Twitter API for the PyBossa application.
Finally, the other team explored the possibilities of integrating PyBossa and CartoDB in a way that will allow PyBossa app developers to export their data directly to the CartoDB web application. This integration would allow the possibility of creating beautiful web maps that could be embedded in different web sites showing the results of a scientific application where the volunteers participated. The team created anexample map to explore the possibilities of the map customization.
The hackfest was a success and several participants showed the interest in repeating this experience again and keep working on the prototypes built around the hackfest. Some of these efforts will be covered within the new work station of citizen science at Medialab-Prado where all citizens are invited to join forces or propose new projects.