STAplus is an effort aiming to standardise citizen science data so that citizen science platforms and other services can communicate. In particular, STAplus provides an extended data model for the SensorThings API; an international Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard used to interconnect devices, data and applications that work on the Internet (also known as the Internet of Things).
To include considerations from citizen science into the SensorThings API’s data structure, the leaders of the development – Joan Masó & Kaori Otsu (CREAF & GRUMETS-UAB) & Andreas Matheus (Secure Dimensions) – added aspects to the data structure such as ownership of the observations, citizen science project or campaign, license at the observation level and a link between observations-author-project-license.
For example, data from different (independently operating) citizen science platforms using STAplus could easily be combined in a map viewer showing data by location or be combined in Excel sheets. To showcase and test it, the developers have created a map with Pl@ntNet and Natusfera’s data.
Recently, STAplus was officially endorsed as a‘Best Practice’ in the OGC in the context of citizen science and beyond.