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A look inside the Pl@ntNet experience. The good, the bias and the hope

Joly A., Bonnet P., Goeau H., Barbe J., Selmi S., Champ J., Dufour-Kowalski S., Affouard A., Carré J., Molino J.F., Boujemaa N., Barthélémy D.. 2016. Multimedia Systems, 22 (6) : p. 751-766.

DOI: 10.1007/s00530-015-0462-9

Pl@ntNet is an innovative participatory sensing platform relying on image-based plants identification as a mean to enlist non-expert contributors and facilitate the production of botanical observation data. One year after the public launch of the mobile application, we carry out a self-critical evaluation of the experience with regard to the requirements of a sustainable and effective ecological surveillance tool. We first demonstrate the attractiveness of the developed multimedia system (with more than 90K end-users) and the nice self-improving capacities of the whole collaborative workflow. We then point out the current limitations of the approach towards producing timely and accurate distribution maps of plants at a very large scale. We discuss in particular two main issues: the bias and the incompleteness of the produced data. We finally open new perspectives and describe upcoming realizations towards bridging these gaps. (Résumé d'auteur)

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