How to Use @PokemonGo to ID Strange Critters in Real Life #CitizenScience

PokeBlitz

It has been a real #PokémonGo week, and I knew things were serious when my fave local park, The Schuylkill Center, announced that Pokémon were seen near some of their art installations—fun stuff. The excitement escalated for me when I learned on takepart that the game is being used to help identify creatures in the wild. If you consider that people are actually getting off the couch and going outdoors, this all makes sense; it’s like walking around with a magnifying glass. Gamers are finding insects, birds and other things they can’t identify in nature and posting pics with #PokeBlitz, which is a take on #BioBlitz that is used in the citizen science community. Scientists are helping nature lovers identify what they are seeing thanks to one guy who happens to be an insect nerd.

The hashtag was created this past Sunday by Morgan Jackson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and cohost of the Breaking Bio podcast, who first heard about the plans for the game a few months ago and recognized its potential for science communication. “It immediately dawned on me that this was going to be a huge opportunity,” he said. “If you go out to explore, you’re going to find something even if it’s not what you set out to look for.”

If you scan Twitter, you’ll see a variety of specimens posted. Check out this one.

There’s more than just a photo being captured, too.

Jackson and other biologists are rapidly identifying not just the species that people have photographed and shared on social media—ranging from snowy egrets to milkweed aphid eggs—but also their behavior. He’s even helped to identify an invasive snail species. “People are really keen to get that extra level of information,” Jackson said.

This is a great twist on a fun game, but what would be even better is a game platform that could be targeted for different types of wildlife according to the needs of scientists. At the least, people could be using hashtags for Twitter and Instagram to collect data on different species. Either way, citizen science is really taking off and it may trickle down to include younger people, inspiring them to study science. So, grab a kid and join the #PokeBlitz. Who knows what you’ll discover. Since you all enjoy gaming, you should also check out our learning guide for fun Mario Clouds Jewelry. It’s inspired by artist, Cory Arcangel, who loves to hack on vintage digital media. These moving pixel clouds in a 3D printed case will make a great conversation starter around your neck or on a keychain. You never know who you are going to meet on a Poke adventure!


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.