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Online Mapping for Citizen Science Investigation

Audience versions of this page: Students

Image courtesy National Geographic FieldScope


Get started with FieldScope
Learn about FieldScope on this page and then select from one of the existing projects to explore or join (find a list of projects here). Projects currently in progress investigate topics such as water quality, phenology, and environmental restoration. More organizations are launching their citizen science projects in FieldScope, so check back often. Participation is free and does not require any software installation. Once you have joined a project, simply start adding observations to the map as you collect them.

Who can participate?
There are many ways to participate with FieldScope! Working with an online, interactive mapping application can be a rich geographic experience for anyone interested in exploring and understanding the world.

  • Educators - In addition to getting outside and collecting data, working with FieldScope helps students meet school standards related to STEM learning fields. If you are an educator, parent, or a simply a citizen science enthusiast, find the FieldScope project that is right for you and join today. Browse a list citizen science projects using FieldScope here.

  • Organizations - Organizations engaging with citizen scientists or those interested in making their data available to a wider public audience should contact National Geographic to launch a new FieldScope project, or join an existing project. Contact us at for more information on setting up a FieldScope project.

What is Fieldscope?

For over 125 years, National Geographic has explored and documented the farthest corners of the planet. FieldScope is an interactive mapping platform that extends the tools of exploration and investigation to everyday 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 to identify larger trends and answer important research questions.

Since 2008, organizations have used FieldScope to engage citizen scientists in documenting and studying topics such as water quality and biodiversity. Fieldscope is also a simple way for organizations to publish their existing data, making valuable information available to the public in an easy-to-use interface.

About Citizen Science

Citizen science occurs when the general public participates in the process of scientific observations. From monitoring the migration of birds, to recording bee populations, and even identifying new galaxies in space, citizen scientists can provide an important and large network, serving as eyes and ears in the field. Modern day technologies such as FieldScope makes it easy for individuals take part in science through data collection and analysis. With FieldScope, citizen scientists can engage in activities such as:

  • exploring maps and data to ask and answer questions about places
  • conducting fieldwork and sharing observations and stories
  • participating in social and scientific networks to document and improve communities.

Funded by

FieldScope Projects

Browse and Find Projects

Check out FieldScope projects that you can join and explore.

Video Tutorials

An introduction to National Geographic's platform for citizen science collaboration and visualization.

Google+ Hangout

Watch our in-depth tutorial on FieldScope on YouTube.

Mobile App

Download the FieldScope Data Collector app to add data to a FieldScope project from a mobile device.

Related Education Programs

Citizen Science

Get involved with citizen science through National Geographic programs.

BioBlitz Education

Collecting and mapping species data in our parks, neighborhoods, and schoolyards.

Chesapeake Bay Water Quality

Learn more about this project-based, citizen science educational initiative!

Related Terms

Find related entries in our encyclopedia to learn more about the concepts of citizen science and geospatial thinking.