The Citizen Science (CS) Solution Kit

A collection of open source digital tools made available to create and manage crowdsourcing projects for social and environmental challenges.

Crowdsourced data can help tackle the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Open Seventeen participants as well as any other students and citizens can use the tools shared here to develop, test and run their SDG-related crowdsourcing project.


The Kit comprises tools adapted from existing Open Source solutions, that can support a wide range of crowdsourcing projects for the SDGs, ranging from crowd-based data collection and classification to distributed volunteer computing to project design and community mapping tools


Open Seventeen gathers a host of solutions in one place and provides pedagogical support to first-time users. The tools are designed to be able to quickly build and test a crowdsourcing solution for the SDGs, ideally without coding skills.

The CS Solution Kit, originally developed by Citizen Cyberlab in Geneva and the Citizen Science Center Zurich with the partial support of the Boninchi Foundation, is developed and maintained by the Crowd4SDG partners. All the tools are open source projects. Contact us if you have questions or suggestions to us for improving and expanding the functionality and scope of the Kit.

Citizen Science Project Builder

The Citizen Science Project Builder (CSPB) is a web-based tool that allows volunteers to participate in complex data classification tasks that automatic tools cannot handle. It supports projects where citizens can analyze or enrich existing data, typically large sets of images or texts, such as satellite pictures or social media posts, as well as other media formats such as videos and scanned documents. 

CSPB also enables the development of CS projects that involve data classification, using a project-building interface that does not require any coding skills. 

The Citizen Science Project Builder platform is mantained by the Citizen Science Center Zurich. The web interface is based onn PyBossa, an open source software framework that spun out as part of the European SMEthat SciFabric in 2015. 


Getting first-hand information about an emergency situation while it is happening is important, but is often difficult to obtain in a timely fashion. The image-based social sensing tool VisualCit allows extraction of visual evidence about a situation from Twitter by searching for images posted and geolocating them. Using AI methods, VisualCit enables the user to crawl Twitter with user-defined keywords to search for posts with images.

VisualCit can apply selected filters (e.g. contains photo, occurs outdoors etc.). It can associate locations to posts, even if tweets are not natively geolocated. Posts can be evaluated by crowdsourcing initiatives using the PyBossa platform (same technology as Citizen Science Project Builder above). A collection of images for a location or thematic maps can be created to support interested users.

VisualCit is a social media data analysis pipeline developed at Polimi, with image selection and filtering from Twitter (link to 1 min video) (link to 10 min video).


Co-creation of citizen science projects requires citizens and scientists to self-organize, propose and discuss ideas, schedule meetings, conduct surveys, and much more. decidim4CS is a digital platform for participatory citizen science. It allows citizen scientists to organize themselves democratically by making proposals, attending online meetings, making decisions through different forms of digital voting, and monitoring the implementations of these decisions.

Decidim4cs is based on decidim, a free open-source software originally created by the Barcelona City Hall as a participatory democracy platform for cities and organizations.

Decidim4cs is maintained by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).  The open-source code of the tool and further information can be found on GitHub.

CS Logger

CS Logger is an open source data collection platform that makes it easy for anyone (without prior programming or design experience) to build and configure customized mobile apps (iOS and Android) for their CS projects. The Apps can feature the most common functionalities for “data collection” CS projects, for example taking geo-located images and adding additional information based on survey questions.
As for the CS Project Builder, a simple web interface offers a menu of several ready-to-use components for the App, including geolocated image/video/audio and several kinds of  text based questions/entries.
The implementation is based on the integration of an existing open source solution, Mind-Logger, developed by the ChildMind Institute (New York, US).

The CS LOGGER is a joint effort of ChildMind Institute, the ETH Library Lab, and the CS Center Zurich.

Collaborative Sonar

CoSo (Collaborative Sonar) is a smartphone application aimed at understanding how team interactions impact team performance and learning. How do team members collaborate? How are subgroups formed? How do these interactions lead to better learning, productivity, creativity, and success? CoSo allows team members to journal the tasks they work on during the course of their project, along with the collaborators involved. In addition, CoSo allows to send longer-form surveys to collect answers about qualitative team features such as diversity (demographic, skills) or organization (roles, relationships). CoSo is combined with a web dashboard for teams to visualize their own data, empowering them with a meta-cognition of their collaborative processes. 

Developped by CRI in the context of the iGEM student competition, CoSo is of general use for any team study geared at understanding how dynamic task allocation and team organization underlies team performance.

SDG Market

The SDG in Progress platform allows project developers to document ongoing projects, or to get inspired by other people’s projects, re-use them or re-purpose them. The platform is based on Build in Progress, originally developed as an open source tool by MIT Media Lab. Compared to other documentation platforms (wikis, Github, etc.), SDG in Progress provides a highly visual overview of how a project is conceived and iteratively improved. It allows for easy visual documentation of the sort of branching that naturally occurs in projects, where different options are explored.

The goal of SDG in Progress is to provide an open repository that charts the step-by-step development of SDG projects, many involving citizen science tools and methodologies, as well as more general crowdsourcing and open science techniques. The idea of SDG in Progress is to document creativity, and support sustainable innovation.

SDG Market is currently in alpha development