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Project information

Project team

Jana Moser, Tom Hoyer (until November 2020), Sebastian Geidel (until December 2020)


Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (Knowledge Media Research Center; Tübingen, Germany), Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (Umbrella organisation of German avifaunists; Münster Germany)

Duration of project

01/2018 – 12/2020

Funded by

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Further information

Dr Jana Moser
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-133

Experiencing biodiversity

How natural science benefits from interactive web maps

Nature-loving citizens gather valuable information about our domestic animal and plant life day after day. Researchers from the IfL and the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, together with the Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten, have developed a new generation of interactive online maps for the web portal The aim was to encourage even more people to record biodiversity and also to enable the public to use the observation data.

Uncertainties in the interpretation of the data, which are always collected unsystematically and incompletely in citizen science projects, could be reduced by a newly introduced visualisation. The reporting activity indicates how many observations across all species were reported for a grid cell in the selected period. This makes it possible to distinguish whether no bird of a species was observed in a grid cell because no one observed there or – in the case of numerous reports – whether the bird species very probably does not occur. Blank spots, i.e. observation gaps, also become visible in this way. The map can therefore encourage people to close these gaps.

The new web portal is intended to enable data to be evaluated at local level and also to enable interested laypersons to work on their own questions. To this end, the requirements of ornithologists for such visual evaluations were determined and the cartographic platform programmed in the first year of the project. It was important to evaluate the observations on the level of districts or landscape units. In addition, questionnaires and interviews were used to test the extent to which user-oriented visualisations can motivate people to participate in Citizen Science projects and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.

The Regio-Portal developed in the project can be accessed via the following link:

The programming codes are available for free use by other citizen science projects on GitHub. During the final conference on 27 November 2020, the results were presented to the community and numerous interested parties from other citizen science and biodiversity projects. Furthermore, the potentials of the visualisations for other projects as well as related challenges were discussed. The results of the project are documented in issue 38 of the journal series "forum ifl".

"Experiencing biodiversity" is one of 13 projects for the promotion of citizen science projects for which the BMBF provided a total of around 5 million euros in funding between 2018 and 2020.

In October 2020, the project coordinated by the IfL was awarded by the UN Decade of Biodiversity (press release).


Hoyer, T. / Moritz, J. / Moser, J. (2021): Visualization and Perception of Data Gaps in the Context of Citizen Science Projects. In: KN (Kartographische Nachrichten: Journal of Cartography and Geographic Information) (3). DOI: 10.1007/s42489-021-00083-2.

Moser, J. (2020): Robin in the hood oder die Taube auf dem Dach. In: IfL-Blog [Weblog], 1 December 2021. Online publication:

Moser, J. / Wahl, J. / Schwan, S. / Hoyer, T. / Moritz, J. / König, C. / Geidel , S. (2020): Webbasierte Visualisierung raumbezogener Daten aus Citizen-Science-Projekten: Partizipation, Potentiale und Lösungen am Beispiel des ornitho-Regioportals (forum ifl 38), Leipzig, 64 S. ISBN 978-3-86082-111-4. Full text (pdf)

König, C. / Wahl, J. / Delaloye, G. / Geidel, S. / Hoyer, T. / Moritz, J. / Moser, J. / Schwan, S. (2020): Ornitho-Regioportal: Verbreitung vor der eigenen Haustür. In: Der Falke (12)2020, S. 44–48.