Building mutual trust between data registrants and users with the new digital citizen science program of marine litter, Ocean Knights

Building mutual trust between data registrants and users with the new digital citizen science program of marine litter, Ocean Knights
Woo, Min Su; Kwak, Tejin; Lim, Sehan; Hong, Sunwook
KIOST Author(s)
Woo, Min Su(우민수)
Alternative Author(s)
Publication Year
Coastal plastic debris pollution around islands is three to four times higher than that of mainland Korea. The amount of underwater debris accounts for 70% of the total existing amount of marine debris in Korean seas and every year it takes tens of millions of dollars to remove it. With increased tourist visitations to the islands, tourists are encountering more pollution than in the past and media reports of such incidents are also increasing. However, quantitative and qualitative data on marine debris pollution and its impacts are not well compiled. Thus, we have developed and are currently operating 'Ocean Knights,' a digital citizen science program based on citizen participation in three-dimensional areas (air, underwater, and coast) of the marine environment. ‘Sky Knights’ use drones (ultra-light unmanned aerial vehicles) to collect images of debris from hard-to-reach shores. ‘Aqua Knights’ record pictures of ecosystems damaged by marine debris in the sea while scuba diving. ‘Terra Knights’ use smartphones to assess the amount of coastal debris and major sources of pollution. Ocean Knights, launched on March 23, 2021, and had a total of 229 (as of April 2022) active participants for a year after undergoing activity trainings through workshops. To encourage voluntary activities of citizens, items symbolizing a knight, such as a knight’s coat of arms, badges, key rings, and meshed bags were provided and a promotion system to grant additional benefits and qualifications were introduced. Through these activities, 167 cases of data directly surveyed by citizens in various places in Korea over the past year were collected. The collected marine debris were then analyzed by location, type, condition, and by the type of damages caused and disclosed to citizens using the Google platform. In addition, we developed an open data sharing platform that can easily register, search, and analyze data obtained through the three activities. The platform aims to provide reliable data collection for appropriate decision-making and easy statistics that can be understood by citizens. The platform collects data from three fields and displays the geographic distribution, making it easy to search for data and extract statistics through photo metadata. While protecting the copyright of data registrants, this platform is publicly used and is equipped with a function to build mutual trust between data registrants and data users. In other words, when a person who wants to use the data requests in the platform, the registrant of the data (Ocean Knights) can directly approve it. This platform plans to provide a citizen participatory machine learning system that can detect, classify, and quantify marine debris through the latest IT technologies. In addition, this platform will not be limited to Korea, but will be developed so that citizens of various countries sharing the seas can easily participate.
Bibliographic Citation
7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC), 2022
The International Marine Debris Conference (IMDC)
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