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Ground Truth 2.0 - Environmental knowledge discovery of human sensed data

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Ground Truth 2.0 (Ground Truth 2.0 - Environmental knowledge discovery of human sensed data)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-12-31

Ground Truth 2.0 delivered the demonstration and validation of six scaled up citizen observatories in real operational conditions both in the EU and in Africa. The overall objectives of Ground Truth 2.0 were to implement sustainable citizen observatories for the demonstration of their societal and economic benefits, and the global market uptake of the Ground Truth 2.0 concept and enabling technologies. The innovative trans-disciplinary Ground Truth 2.0 approach consisted of a multi-actor innovation process to combine the social dimensions of citizen observatories with enabling technologies, so that their customisation and deployment could be tailored to the envisaged societal and economic impacts of the observatories. The demonstration cases (4 EU and 2 African) covered the full 'spectrum’ of citizen-sensed data usage and citizen engagement, and therefore allowed testing and validating of the concept and technologies, and evaluation of their impacts under a range of conditions. The observatories focused on environmental indicators in urban and rural areas (e.g. water quality and quantity, air quality, phenology, biodiversity, heat, human-wild life incidents) related to spatial planning issues as well as land and natural resources management. The combination of demonstration cases as well as the technologies, skills and networks of citizen associations involved via the GT2.0 consortium (a good mix of Industry, SME, NGO, Government, Research and Academia) presented a unique opportunity for positioning the European industry for the roll out and uptake of related technologies and services in the EU, in Africa as well as globally. Ground Truth 2.0 coordinated and interacted with other relevant initiatives, such as GEOSS and INSPIRE as well as the sister projects funded under the same call (namely GROW, SCENT and LANDSENSE) to create mutual synergies.
Based on carefully devised methods for stakeholder analysis, co-design and engagement, Ground Truth 2.0 successfully completed the co-design of the six citizen observatories in its four European and two African Demo Cases, enabling local stakeholders to design their citizen observatory (CO) focused on their local needs

The technical solutions for the observatories are based on the functional design resulting from the co-design process and on the technical design developed for each case. In addition, Ground Truth 2.0 worked on data quality assurance methods and how to facilitate standard access for the CO data in order to make this information interoperable with other data sources. The initial version of each platform provides those functionalities that had been prioritised by the end users. The observatories were launched to the general public at targeted and carefully prepared launch events and data collection campaigns undertaken.

These activities were paralleled by research into the incentives and barriers for stakeholder participation in the observatories, the results of which fed into and guided the tailored engagement efforts in each Demo Case. A comprehensive impact assessment procedure was developed and implemented to trace social, institutional, economic and environmental changes triggered by the six observatories.

Ground Truth 2.0 aligned its efforts for building a Land User Mapper with prototypes of project-external parties in order to (eventually) generate a robust Global Land Use Mapper, especially for areas where either OSM data is scarce or remote sensing acquisition is hampered by frequent cloud cover. The Ground Truth 2.0 homepage serves as a prominent place for the unique GT2.0 approach, the Demo Cases and the posts about the Demo Case activities.

Overall, Ground Truth 2.0 had aimed to produce major impacts in two dimensions, namely (1) the demonstration of societal and economic benefits of citizen observatories and (2) their global uptake. In all its demonstration cases, the short term impacts of the observatories include the availability of data of high density, improved quality and relevance (facilitated by all the developments in the project around citizen observatories data), which are expected to translate - in the long term - into better decisions and improved land and natural resource management.

The Ground Truth 2.0 approach has been used beyond the project already in various proposals and projects by the Ground Truth partners in Europe (e.g. H2020 MICS) and the Middle East (e.g. KidronNar, funded by the Dutch Government) and is being shared via WeObserve Communities of Practice, during WeObserve Roadshow events as well as outreach activities. The exploitation of three Ground Truth 2.0 products (the GT2.0 co-design methodology for establishing a sustainable citizen observatory, the Land Use Mapper and the data quality module for checking data quality in citizen observatories) was supported via market analysis, business modelling and an exploitation roadmap as well as a video about the impact of citizen observatories.
The methodology for establishing sustainable, demand-driven COs that was developed, validated and extended beyond the current state of the art in the field of citizen observatories and citizen science by providing a holistic and comprehensive approach to the social, technological and economic aspects of developing such innovative initiatives. This resulted in lessons from the Ground Truth 2.0 approach and engagement practices, comprehensive technical, socio-economic and institutional impact assessments, guidelines for initiatives that are striving for similar goals as well as recommendations for policy makers. Appropriate business models were generated for each of the six COs to support their sustainability beyond the lifetime of the project and for distinct GT2.0 products for commercialization purposes, including the land user mapper, the GT2.0 co-design methodology and a data quality module (a tool for checking data quality in COs).

GT2.0 aimed to become a reference implementation for a common set of interoperable standards for citizen observatories and, via various efforts, strived for the integration of citizen sensed data into GEOSS at the same level as in-situ observations, ensuring sustainability of the data as well as the observatories. The interoperability and standardisation efforts strengthened the opportunities for the adoption and increased added-value of the CO technologies and data, thus contributing to improved market access for these products.

The final GT2.0 event, called the Ground Truth Week, was held as a whole week of online and F2F activities from Monday, 30 September till Friday, 4 October 2019, with a (virtual) tour across two continents and seven citizen observatories followed by two days of workshops at IHE in Delft. The final project results (social and technological) from the 6 citizen observatories were also presented and showcased at various international events in order to promote the global market uptake of the GT 2.0 concept and enabling technologies.

All of the project efforts contributed to the active participation and empowerment of citizens in planning, decision making and environmental governance in and beyond the six Ground Truth 2.0 Demonstration Cases.
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