Mark My Bird

Summary:

HRI Digital is working with the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences to develop a crowd-sourcing system that will enable the general public to identify key features on approx. 20,000 3D models of bird bills.

Project Status:

In Progress

Funders:

European Research Council (ERC), Royal Society

Partners:

University of Sheffield

Subjects:

crowd sourcing, large datasets

Technologies:

3D modelling, CMS, CSS, HTML, HTML5 Canvas, MySQL, PHP, WebGL

Project Website

Project Description

HRI Digital is working with the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences to develop a system that will enable the general public to assist the Department in their current research project. The project involves measuring bird bills to help researchers understand how and why birds diversified into the 10,000 species that exist today.

HRI Digital is developing a system that will enable the general public to identify key features (landmarks) on approximately 20,000 3D models of bird bills. The models have been scanned using museum specimens that typically form part of eighteenth and nineteenth century natural history collections.

The user will be able to create an account on the system and then work through as many 3D models as s/he wishes, undertaking specific tasks that will be managed by the system. For example, the user will be asked to click on the model to identify the location of the tip of the bill or trace the outline of the jaw.

By identifying these key features, the public will enable the researchers to compare measurements across all the species of birds. The process of inviting members of the public to contribute to research tasks is generally known as crowd sourcing or citizen science.

The project is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

Project Team

  • Dr Gavin Thomas (Principal Investigator – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Dr Jen Bright (Research Associate – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Dr Chris Cooney (Research Associate – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Emma Hughes (Research Associate – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Elliot Capp (Research Associate – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Chris Moody (Research Associate – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
  • Angela Chira (PhD student – Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
    • Jamie McLaughlin (Digital Humanities Developer – University of Sheffield)
    • Matthew Groves (Digital Humanities Developer – University of Sheffield)
    • Michael Pidd (Digital Director – University of Sheffield)