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Boosting urban hydrologic research with citizen collected data

Author(s): Pan Yang; Geng Niu; Erhu Du; Yi Zheng

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Keywords: Hydrolink; Crowdsourcing; citizen science; data acquization; urban hydrology; data techniques; data Pan Yang; Geng Niu; Erhu Du; Yi Zheng

Abstract: Citizen science, described as the method that involves citizens or communities in the scientific research process, has been used in a wide range of studies since the term was first introduced in the 1980s. In the era of big data, citizen science is increasingly attracting attention across a wide variety of scientific disciplines, as indicated by the appearance of vast reports, projects, and peer-reviewed publications. It significantly expands data collection means and scope across temporal and spatial scales, especially in urban hydrologic research. These changes are also creating immense opportunities. The possibilities for new products, services and business models promise to substantially impact almost every sector of the economy - not least the water sector. Fields of hydraulics, hydrology and hydro-environment in general are concerned with natural phenomena described through deterministic equations derived from our best understanding of conservation laws and other underlying water-physics, chemistry and biology. Initially, there was a limited interest in the scientific and communities of practice, even a degree of skepticism about AI. However, now and on the heels of the successes of artificial intelligence over the last two decades, there is a growing interest and accelerating adoption by the water community of state-of- the-art AI techniques originated in computer science into the water community. How and why is this happening? In which direction is this transformation taking our community? Perhaps a historical perspective as an overture could help appreciate the developments.


Year: 2022

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