Celebrating 10 years of iSpot… and it’s basically thanks to you!

Celebrating 10 years of iSpot… and it’s basically thanks to you! - Global :

June 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of iSpot, the Open University's (OU) citizen science platform for biodiversity,  and we are having a 12 month-long series of activities to celebrate and acknowledge this significant milestone and yes, we want you to be involved!  

No we haven’t forgotten, we do sincerely apologise for starting things off a bit later than we hoped to; but be assured it will all be worth the wait!

This note is a brief summary, but we thought it better not to keep you in suspense any longer and share a snapshot of our exciting news. Look out for more details as plans are confirmed, but for now here are for a few highlights so you can have an idea of what you can look out for and get involved with over the coming months:

  • iSpot data snapshots: so what have you contributed to over the past 10 years? iSpot has grown to become an online community of over 71,000 registered users who have collated over 780,000 observations of a wide range of species through over 1.52 million images.We are completing summary analysis of contributions over the years and will be sharing highlights from this including key milestones.
  • Unique / interesting / memorable observations: one of iSpot’s most popular and memorable postings was  the Euonymus leaf notcher  in October 2009. But what are yours? Some of you have already started collating this in the iSpot Forums and we are asking you to share even more.
  • iSpot user group meeting: We will be inviting 20 - 25 regular iSpot users to meet with us at the iSpot OU HQ in Milton Keynes (and yes this will celebratory involve cake!). Unfortunately we cannot host more, but this will be the first of a few opportunities for us to consult with, share and discuss iSpot matters, capture ideas and have your representation as we plan for what  we hope will be a future of another 10 years or more of iSpot!
  • Sharing how you use iSpot and participating in key events: Thanks for those who have already responded to the earlier request to share their views about using iSpot. We will be using this feedback over the coming months and inviting volunteers to write their own stories to share with others on the iSpot front page. We are also increasing representation at key events over the coming months, for example, we will be at the upcoming National Biodiversity Network Conference in Nottingham, November 2019. Look out for opportunities for a few users to help us showcase iSpot at this and other events!
  • New funding: The past year has been extremely busy writing funding bids and we have now had some success! The iSpot team are collaborating on three new projects which will see updates and innovative developments to the platform, as well as new citizen science activities and public engagement interventions launched. More on this soon!

That’s the short update for now. Most importantly, however, we want to say a big THANK YOU to all who have supported iSpot over the years, without your use of the site, posting your contributions and helping each other in the identification of wildlife; sharing your views etc; we would not be where we are today!

Janice, iSpot Project Manager

on behalf of the iSpot Team

01 Jul 2019
Janice A