Apply crowd-sourcing methods to frog conservation with the FrogID app
In late 2017, the museum launched the Australian Museum Citizen Science Program FrogID, a five-year, nationwide research initiative that employs crowd-sourcing concepts to count and map the frogs of Australia.
Because scientists identify frogs more by their calls than their appearance, the FrogID app is at the heart of the project. Developed in partnership with IBM iX® Sydney, the tool allows people to make audio recordings of frogs’ unique croaks, chirps, and whistles and upload the recordings to an online database. After a team of experts identify and verify the submission, they notify users about the frog the user recorded. The app also uses GPS coordinates to map frog populations.
The museum applies the data to support research about the size and health of frog populations, identify which species are at risk, gain insights into the state of creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands, and help safeguard frogs and their habitats. Scientists may even identify a new species.
IBM iX Sydney continues to work closely with the museum, using Design Thinking and agile methodologies to fine-tune the app and make enhancements. For example, to minimize the effects of radiant lighting on nocturnal animals, the team has added darker colors to the app.