Citizens on Patrol

We’re currently working on a Citizen Science scoping project, with the aim of transcribing the data from historical tide gauge ledgers we had scanned last year. A couple of weeks ago I decided to make a trip down south to visit the Met Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), where I could discuss Citizen Science and sea level data archaeology.

At the Met Office, I met with some of the team behind the Old Weather project and also the Met Office Weather Observation Website. I received some really helpful advice about starting up a Citizen Science project, some of which can be found in The Citizen Science guide available from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). They also recommended someone from the team attend the Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London at the end of February.

The view from the train between Exeter and Taunton

The view from the train between Exeter and Taunton

After the visit to the Met Office in Exeter, I went to Taunton to meet the Tides group at the UKHO to discuss what data in their impressive archives might be recoverable. Among other wonderful historical data I saw tide gauge charts from Valetta, Malta, dating back to the 1870s and tide gauge measurements made at Kerguelen by James Clark Ross in the 1840s. The UKHO archives are open to the public, by appointment, but we hope to scan some of the tide gauge records to make them freely available.

The meetings gave me lots of things to think about and also uncovered lots of data. It was great to meet with people that were so enthusiastic about the work they do and very keen to be helpful and share their knowledge.