Realising the potential of real-time online monitoring for conservation culturomics

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Authors

Thomas Frederick Johnson, Richard Cornford, Shawn Dove, Robin Freeman, Joseph Millard 

Abstract

Environmental monitoring is increasingly shifting towards a set of systems that describe changes in real-time. In ecology specifically, a series of challenges have prevented the roll-out of real-time monitoring for features such as biodiversity change or ecosystem service provision. Conservation culturomics, a field concerned with interactions between people and nature, is well-placed to demonstrate how monitoring might move towards a network of real-time platforms, given its existence almost exclusively in the digital realm. Here we describe a set of considerations associated with the development of real-time monitoring platforms for conservation culturomics. We then introduce a near real-time platform for the Species Awareness Index, a global index of changing biodiversity awareness derived from the rate of change in page views for species on Wikipedia. This platform will update automatically each month, operating in near real-time (hosted here: https://joemillard.shinyapps.io/Real_time_SAI/), with plans to make the underlying data queryable via an API independent of the platform. The real-time SAI will represent the first real-time and entirely automated conservation culturomic platform, and one of the first within the discipline of ecology. We conclude by envisioning a future for real-time monitoring, presenting a general framework for real-time monitoring in ecology, and calling for an online real-time observatory that can evolve with the structure of the web.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/r3ysc

Subjects

Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

biodiversity, conservation culturomics, real-time monitoring, Wikipedia

Dates

Published: 2022-09-09 04:38

Last Updated: 2022-09-10 03:40

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License

CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data and Code Availability Statement:
All code and data will be made available at publication in a journal.