The interface between neogeography and citizen science has great potential for environmental monitoring, but this nexus has been explored less often than each subject individually. In this article we review the emerging role of volunteered geographic information in citizen science and
present a case study of an integrated tool set that engages multiple types of users (from targeted citizen-based observation networks, expert-driven focused monitoring, and opportunistic crowdsourcing efforts) in monitoring a forest disease in the western United States. We first introduce
the overall challenge of data collection in environmental monitoring projects and then discuss the literature surrounding an emergent integration of citizen science and volunteered geographical information. We next explore how these methods characterize and underpin knowledge discovery and
how multimodal interaction is supported so that a large spectrum of contributors can be included. These concepts are summarized in a conceptual model that articulates the important gradients of Web-based environmental monitoring: the users, the interaction between users and data, and the types
of information generated. Using this model, we critically examine OakMapper.org, a Web site created by the authors to collect and distribute spatial information related to the spread of a forest disease, and discuss many of the core issues and new challenges presented by the intersection of
citizen science and volunteered geographic information in the context of environmental monitoring. We argue that environmental monitoring can benefit from this synergy: The increased emphasis on a diversity of participants in knowledge production might help to reduce the gaps that have in
the past divided the public, researchers, and policymakers in such efforts.
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