Yes, registering for a FieldScope account is completely free of charge.
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To contribute to a FieldScope project, you must first sign up for a FieldScope account and register with a project. Once approved, you will receive an email. To sign up for a new account, click the Login prompt located at the top right of a FieldScope project.
Find an index of all projects you can join that are using FieldScope here.
For over 125 years, National Geographic has explored and documented the farthest corners of the planet. FieldScope is an interactive mapping platform that puts the tools of exploration and investigation in the hands of science enthusiasts. This digital tool enables citizen scientists to document and understand the world around them––both in the classroom and in outdoor settings.
Using FieldScope, enthusiasts work together to share, analyze, and interpret data. Overlaying that data on a geographic mapping tool such as FieldScope helps identify larger trends and answer important questions.
Watch this overview video to see what is possible for working with citizen science data and maps in National Geographic FieldScope
If specific data protocols exist, they will be listed in the project FAQ tab.
In most projects, you can download a CSV spreadsheet of observation data you are working with. CSV, or comma separated files, have the file extension .csv and are spreadsheets of data that can be opened in Microsoft Excel and other software programs that handle spreadsheets.
The FieldScope community is set up to facilitate citizen scientists contributing to scientific research projects. Most projects are open and both interested participants and scientists can work with the contributed observation data. For project specific information on the use of contributed data, see the project FAQ tab.
A registered user can see a listing of all the observations and locations they have input through the My Project Content module on the home screen of a project. By clicking on an observation or a location in these lists, you can edit or erase the data. You can also filter data on a graph, map, or table by using the Filter by Observer function in map or graph data mode.
You can add data in bulk from spreadsheets that follow a simple, but specific, formatting. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request bulk upload permission. Please include the name of the FieldScope project with which you are associated.
There are a number of different graph types you can create in a FieldScope project:
To save graphs, you must first log-in to FieldScope. Once logged in, you can customize graphs and save them to your user account. Saved graphs can be accessed from the project homepage or in your project settings.
A time-series plot displays the time-based frequency of a variable in a graph. The y-axis (vertical) will display number-based variables you choose. Colors will distinguish the variables if you choose more than one. The x-axis (horizontal) will always display a time period.
A histogram displays the frequency of a variable in a bar chart. The y-axis (vertical) will always display the number of observations. The x-axis (horizontal) will display the number-based and category variables you choose. Colors will distinguish the variables if you choose more than one.
A scatter plot displays two variables on a graph. Both the y-axis (vertical) and x-axis (horizontal) will display number-based variables you choose. If you choose a category variable, the information will appear as you mouse over a point in your graph.
A range-comparison plot (sometimes called a box plot) displays variables in their quartiles, or rectangular-shaped sets of data values. The y-axis (vertical) will display a category variable you choose as a list. If you choose more than one category variable, the information on variable will appear as you mouse over a quartile. The x-axis (horizontal) will display a number-based variable you choose.
To save maps you create in FieldScope, you must first log-in. Once logged in, you can customize maps and save them to your user account. Saved maps can be accessed from the project homepage or in your project settings.
To find a location in FieldScope, use the Search feature available on the bottom right of the application by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.
All maps you see and interact with in FieldScope are projected in the Web Mercator projection. This is a common map projection used with maps on the web today. To read more about map projections, read this encyclopedic entry from National Geographic.