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About Citizen Explorer Lab

Citizen Explorer Lab engages, inspires and empowers a new generation of explorers, scientists and change makers through participatory science and open innovation. It aims to engage millions of people around the world in acquiring data that will help us understand the patterns, status and trends of species, ecosystems, people and cultures.

Citizen Explorer

Building Capacity in Participatory Science and Innovation

Citizen Explorer Lab partners with global leaders in citizen science. Using data-driven, technology-powered tools, these partnerships inspire and empower citizen explorers to become stewards of the planet and contribute to solving real-world issues.

Citizen Explorer

Establishing a Global Ground Truthing Network

Citizen Explorer Lab builds global participatory science tools for conservation and exploration. These tools have successfully empowered citizen scientists to identify potential archaeological sites in Egypt, and can be expanded to help understand patterns, species, ecosystems, people and cultures.

Citizen Science Projects



Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. 
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hand holding phone with app open on screen

Marine Debris Tracker

Track litter anywhere on the planet, from the ocean to your backyard, to help scientists better understand the plastic waste crisis. 
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student photographs plants with a cell phone


Seek allows curious naturalists of all ages to earn badges while identifying local plants and animals through image recognition based on iNaturalist data. Get Started


Map of Life

Map of Life collects, analyzes, and visually represents global data to provide tools and services for education, monitoring, research, and decision-making. 
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Instant Wild

Help conservationists identify animals in LIVE images and video from around the world! 
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Photo of overhead shot


Help GlobalXplorer discover and protect our shared human story using satellite imagery. 
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Making an Impact for the Planet

Photographs by Karine Aigner (Top Image) ; (Citizen Explorer Lab) ; Kyler Abernathy (Participatory Science) ; Cengage for National Geographic (Ground Truthing Network) ; Lori Epstein (Inaturalist) ; Tim Laman (Map of Life) ; Cory Richards (Instant Wild) ; Courtesy Digital Globe (GlobalXplorer) ; Dave McAloney (Exploration Technology), Terry Virts/NASA (Geographic Visualization), Manu San Félix (Impact Programs)

Content may not reflect National Geographic's current map policy