Collaborative Environmental In Situ Data Collection: Experiences and Opportunities for Ambient Data Integration


Collaborative environmental in situ data collection occurs when a team of investigators goes into the field together to collect environmental data. These data might be necessary, e.g., for a biodiversity inventory, compilation of a soil density map, or to estimate above-ground forest carbon stocks. Investigators will often arrive at a location and disperse, collecting data, and then compiling it either in the field, or at a later time. Typically, an area will be divided into a set of plots, and within those, subplots. Teams of investigators will visit each of these plots with standardized forms and specialized equipment for collecting the data of interest. For example, in a forest inventory, investigators might collect data about the diameter and species of the trees in the forest, the trees’ health, fire damage and soil quality at the plot, proximity to roads, and whether any logging has taken place.