An interactive online map system brings together data and photos submitted through multiple applications used for citizen science campaigns.
TAMPA, Florida. As part of the fight against malaria, the global mosquito control dashboard created right here in the Tampa Bay area to help fight now has Sarasota on this map.
This is because mosquito control officers continue to work to find mosquitoes that may be carrying the parasite.
MosquitoDashboard.org, based at the University of South Florida, is an interactive online mapping system that aggregates data and photos submitted through multiple applications used for citizen science campaigns.
Applications include iNaturalist, Mosquito Habitat Mapper, part of NASA’s Global Observation App, and Mosquito Alert.
The Global Mosquito Malaria Dashboard was created in 2021 by USF researchers Dr. Ryan Carney, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology and Digital Sciences, and colleague Dr. Sriram Challappan, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
“Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet. You can think of them as little flying hypodermic needles, so we’re asking citizen scientists to help us find these malaria-spreading needles in a haystack in Florida,” Carney said.
The dashboard collects information from citizens and uses artificial intelligence to analyze it.
USF researchers will then use this information to track the movement, presence, and introduction of potentially deadly mosquitoes, especially invasive species.
This information also helps scientists know which mosquito species live where and improves local mosquito surveillance and control activities.
“Give pictures of mosquitoes, mosquito larvae, or even see their habitat, and use that information to help us fight mosquito-borne diseases,” Carney said.