ClimMob: Software to Support Experimental Citizen Science in Agriculture

28 Pages Posted: 30 May 2023

See all articles by Carlos Quirós

Carlos Quirós

Bioversity International

Kauê de Sousa

Bioversity International

Jonathan Steinke

Bioversity International

Brandon Madriz

MrBot Software Solutions

Marie-Angélique Laporte

The Alliance of Bioversity International

Elizabeth Arnaud

The Alliance of Bioversity International

Rhys Manners

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Berta Ortiz-Crespo

Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Anna Müller

Bioversity International

Jacob van Etten

Bioversity International

Abstract

Experimental citizen science offers new ways to organize on-farm testing of crop varieties and other agronomic options. Its implementation at scale requires software that streamlines the process of experimental design, data collection and analysis, so that different organizations can support trials. This article considers ClimMob software developed to facilitate implementing experimental citizen science in agriculture. We describe the software design process, including our initial design choices, the architecture and functionality of ClimMob, and the methodology used for incorporating user feedback. Initial design choices were guided by the need to shape a workflow that is feasible for farmers and relevant for farmers, breeders and other decision-makers. Workflow and software concepts were developed concurrently. The resulting approach supported by ClimMob is triadic comparisons of technology options (tricot), which allows farmers to make simple comparisons between crop varieties or other agricultural technologies tested on farms. The software was built using Component-Based Software Engineering (CBSE), to allow for a flexible, modular design of software that is easy to maintain. Source is open-source and built on existing components that generally have a broad user community, to ensure their continuity in the future. Key components include Open Data Kit, ODK Tools, PyUtilib Component Architecture. The design of experiments and data analysis is done through R packages, which are all available on CRAN. Constant user feedback and short communication lines between the development teams and users was crucial in the development process. Development will continue to further improve user experience, expand data collection methods and media channels, ensure integration with other systems, and to further improve the support for data-driven decision-making.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Decentralized experiments, Digital inclusion, tricot approach

Suggested Citation

Quirós, Carlos and de Sousa, Kauê and Steinke, Jonathan and Madriz, Brandon and Laporte, Marie-Angélique and Arnaud, Elizabeth and Manners, Rhys and Ortiz-Crespo, Berta and Müller, Anna and van Etten, Jacob, ClimMob: Software to Support Experimental Citizen Science in Agriculture. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4463406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4463406

Carlos Quirós

Bioversity International ( email )

Kauê De Sousa

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Jonathan Steinke

Bioversity International ( email )

Brandon Madriz

MrBot Software Solutions ( email )

Marie-Angélique Laporte

The Alliance of Bioversity International ( email )

France

Elizabeth Arnaud

The Alliance of Bioversity International ( email )

France

Rhys Manners

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture ( email )

Berta Ortiz-Crespo

Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT ( email )

Anna Müller

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Jacob Van Etten (Contact Author)

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

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