Research from Imperial College London scientists indicates that new smartphone software will help epidemiologists and ecologists in the field analyze data remotely and map findings across the globe. The study authors also say the software will allow the public to function as "citizen scientists" and gather data for community projects.
The smartphone software lets users collect and record data, photos, and videos, and then transmit this material to a central Web-based database. The Web site uses the handset's global positioning system to record the user's location, and it can then display all the data collected on this subject across the world through Google Maps. The smartphones can additionally be used to request and see all the available maps and analyses.
"This is the first time that we have been able to link all the functionality of smartphone technology to a Web-based database for scientists to use," says lead study author David Aanensen. "Our software is ideal for projects where multiple people collect data in the field and submit these to a central Web site for mapping and analysis."
The researchers are currently using the software to assist in their analyses of the epidemiology of bacterial and fungal infectious diseases. Smartphones for the software employ the open source Android operating system, allowing software developers to create their own applications.
From Imperial College London
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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