Also known as citizens’ sciences, they allow to generate knowledge and to advance at the level of inventories. This knowledge, created by the active participation of non-professionals and non-scientists, is valuable and gives rise to many projects within the framework of the common goods.
By definition, here’s what it says :
[These are] scientific research activities to which citizens actively contribute through intellectual effort or through the provision of relevant knowledge, tools or resources. Participants provide data and research sites, raise new issues; They work with researchers to create a new scientific culture. While engaging in both interesting and useful activities, these volunteer researchers acquire new knowledge and skills, as well as a better understanding of scientific work. These networked, open and transdisciplinary practices improve the science-society-political interactions and promote more democratic research, where decision-making is based on research resultsGreen Paper on Citizen Science: Citizen Science for Europe , 2002
Very much used for the natural sciences, it is also an interesting method in the context of the inventory and the survey of the assets at risk. Indeed, the visibility we have of the sites is relatively small. To give you an example, I discovered in a few years, and by the purest of hazards, no less than a dozen heritages, natural and cultural, unsung, in immediate peril. All had a remarkable history, an architecture and particular aesthetic and cultural elements. Despite the efforts of local associations, for lack of means, or by ignorance of their value, these goods are, for the most part, destined to disappear definitively.
Citizen participation is therefore important here. Tourists, adventurers, residents, associations, institutions, laboratories, etc., all can help in the development of an open database, in order to contribute to the establishment of a precise cartography. It is also a matter of helping to disseminate the data in order to promote the development of initiatives. For Nova Heritage, this is the first step towards a large project, which will aim to make (re) live these places and, in the best case, restore and protect them.
The aim is to collect a large number of information on more or less extensive areas throughout the world over a long period of time. Through a pre-established protocol, which will be discussed later, volunteers can make their first observations, shared and transmit raw data via a Google Maps map available here
It is certainly the most successful contributing tool at the moment. It will allow everyone to participate as they wish. All the information will be processed and analyzed and published in an open way through dedicated pages.
It is not a question of generating data to simply generate them and spread them all. They are to transform them in order to enhance them and to encourage the preservation of the places (physically or virtually). In fact, the agency assumes that:
“Nothing is lost, everything is re-created again and everything transforms perpetually!”
This is where the virtual reality dance comes in… We will return to that.
You already have access to the Google interactive map. This map allows you, according to your travels, to note the presence of a site or a property. You can add a short description and some pictures. A wiki will then be able to deepen all the knowledge. The data will be open (Open data). A manual will be published soon, in order to make reading pins easier.
These data, once harvested, in addition to helping to generate specific initiatives, will enable the development of surveys of goods by photogrammetry and/or laser. A first model (Beta) will be born. By adding the data generated through the wiki, you and I will be able to discover what no one has ever seen or will never see again: the monument in its “original” state. But patience, there are still a lot of steps before we achieve such a result.