Drone CitiSci Project: Very VERY Rough Draft

Below is an outline type of table which I hope conveys my current mindset with respect to the drone citizen science project. My aim is to collaborate with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) by adding coastal images captured by recreational drone users before and after storms (potentially on a regular basis) to add to their existing iCoast CitiSci project. This open-source (html coded) internet project has been running for two years and encompasses the Mid-Atlantic states’ ocean coasts following several major storms such as Hurricanes Sandy and Joaquin. USGS Scientists captures oblique aerial images of the coast from a small plane before and after storms. Once images are uploaded to the website (https://coastal.er.usgs.gov/icoast/index.php), volunteer citizens login to categorize changes between the before and after images. These thousands of observations made by the citizens go into coastal morphological probability models to calculate the vulnerability of the photographed coastlines in the event of future storms.

I see a huge potential to increase both the spatial and temporal sampling of their image catch without additional funds and effort from USGS. I’ve never traveled to a place where someone isn’t fly a drone and taking photos or videos. There’s a huge opportunity to mine coastal images from recreational drone users while they enjoy flying their drones, taking great images, and improving their coasts’ resiliency to storm events. These are my thoughts as to what needs to be done for this project to proceed. Please let me know what you think!



Questions and Issues

Collaborate with USGS

Make contact with manager of iCoast to discuss adding to the project My role in the altering of this project and if more funding is needed.

Example drone photos

Take images to demonstrate feasibility of drone images in the iCoast data collection method Will it be able to replicate the original plane images and provided the needed scientific data?

Method for adding drone photos

Determine if source code is currently compatible with drone images and metadata How is the photo metadata used by USGS? (Lat, Lon, altitude, camera parameters)

CitiSci photo collection guide

Create instructional video (drone perspective? Drone recording drone?) or ppt or instructional steps for volunteers What is the importance of the camera parameters such as resolution (MP) and focal length? Citi takes FAA responsibility for actions.

Submission of photos to USGS

Decide if link on iCoast webpage/login portal or email to contact for incorporation Identity concerns, amount of data anticipated, prioritize specific areas first?


Get the word out and potential create workshops around the area to promote this and iCoast Webinar more effective?? Rather than traveling all the time, USGS has a broad audience to appeal to for this.


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