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Citizen Science in Archaeology

  • Monica L. Smith (a1)

Citizen science, as a process of volunteer participation through crowdsourcing, facilitates the creation of mass data sets needed to address subtle and large-scale patterns in complex phenomena. Citizen science efforts in other field disciplines such as biology, geography, and astronomy indicate how new web-based interfaces can enhance and expand upon archaeologists’ existing platforms of volunteer engagement such as field schools, community archaeology, site stewardship, and professional–avocational partnerships. Archaeological research can benefit from the citizen science paradigm in four ways: fieldwork that makes use of widely available technologies such as mobile applications for photography and data upload; searches of large satellite image collections for site identification and monitoring; crowdfunding; and crowdsourced computer entry of heritage data.


La ciencia ciudadana, como un proceso de participación voluntaria a través de crowdsourcing, facilita la creación de conjuntos de información masiva necesarios para hacer fiente a los patrones sutiles y de gran escala en fenómenos complejos. Los esfuerzos de la ciencia ciudadana en otras disciplinas basadas en trabajo de campo, tales como la biología, la geografía y la astronomía ilustran cómo las nuevas interfaces basadas en internet pueden mejorar y ampliar las plataformas existentes de los arqueólogos sobre compromisos voluntarios tales como las escuelas de campo, arqueología comunitaria, la gestión de sitios y asociaciones profesional-recreativas. La investigación arqueológica puede beneficiarse del paradigma de la ciencia ciudadana en cuatro aspectos: la investigación de campo que hace uso de tecnologías ampliamente disponibles, tales como aplicaciones móviles para cargar fotografía y data; búsquedas de grandes colecciones de imágenes de satélite para la identificación y monitoreo de sitios; financiamientos colectivos; y la entrada de ordenador de datos patrimoniales provenientes de crowdsourcing.

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