During 7-11 th of July, Vespucci Initiative organized the workshop “IC1203 COST ENERGIC – VGI and Citizen Science: engaging, creating and understanding“. Having granted an award from European Commission (COST Energic), Amin Mobasheri from GIScience group of Heidelberg University attended the workshop. The week activities were articulated in practical scientific activities where participants actively contributed with their knowledge, intellectual effort or with their tools and resources. Topics covered collective intelligence, quality assurance, methodologies for data analysis, interoperability with official data sources, sustainability, governance, funding, and evaluation and impact measurements. Facilitators provided experimental data and facilities for researchers, raised new questions and co-created a new scientific culture. Under the support of the facilitators, participants were encouraged to explore new directions in their research, test methods from other disciplines, and experience data collection activities themselves. An interesting experience, for example, was Balloon mapping where the students were provided with the necessary equipment to build a mapping system that used balloon for flying in the sky, and a digital camera was fixed under it to take images of the surface below the baloon at a given time interval. Later, the collected images were imported to a GIS, geo-referenced and patched together in order to create the surface of the area nearby the workshop housing (A simple, cost-effective and fun idea to build a mapping system at home and collect VGI airborne imagery!).
Apart from the workshop, Amin Mobasheri was invited to give a talk about the research interests and projects executed at GIScience group of Heidelberg University at LabGeo (Geography Laboratory) of University of Florence. Further agreements on future collaboration between two groups in means of project and research collaboration were discussed.