Vogel het Uit!

Vogel het uit! is a new citizen science project which allows anyone who has a smart phone and is a bit curious about their environment to contribute actively to our research. We track the daily lives of birds with high-resolution GPS tracking technology and while we can measure exactly where the birds go, how they got there and how long they stay, we don't always know what is happening in the area, what attracts birds there. Vogel het uit! is a Dutch saying that means "Figure it out!", though funnily enough the word "vogel" literally means “bird”. And that's our project in a nutshell: we would like you to help us figure out what attracts the birds we are studying to certain locations. Our aim is to improve our understanding of how these birds respond to their environment and how they adapt, or why they cannot adapt, to a world that is rapidly changing.

Through this website you can learn about our research, the species and individual birds we are tracking and see some of the trips that the birds we study regularly make. Using the technology built into your phone and our new Vogel het uit! app you can explore routes travelled by the birds and navigate to specific waypoints where we are missing important information. The app enables you to explore the bird tracking data in two ways: a 2D map view and, by looking through your camera, a 3D augmented reality view where you actually see GPS locations in the landscape. At specific waypoints, you can answer questions provided by the app about the local habitat, presence of other birds and animals or even the activity of people in the area. In some cases, we will ask you to document the landscape with a picture or video. The information will be uploaded to our central database, where researchers can then combine your answers with their ongoing research. In this way you can contribute to cutting edge ecological research.

Vogel het uit! was the winning concept for innovative science communication at the Dutch Academic Year Prize 2013. The app will be initiated in the Netherlands, and we hope to expand to an international audience after successfully running at least one year of field surveys with the Vogel het uit! community.

The team consists of senior members Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Willem Bouten, Kees Camphuysen, Emiel van Loon, Edwin Baaij, Bart Groeneveld, Stefan Verhoeven, Tijs de Kler and student members Almut Schlaich, Wouter Vansteelant, Viola Bennink, Lisa Boerop, Camilla Dreef and Alice Driesen. Vogel het uit! works together with a large number of partners.