The development framework is Microsoft’s Xamarin using the C# programming language. Xamarin enables the developer to use one programming language and deploy to both Apple iOS devices and Google Android devices. Users interested in recording observations using a mobile device will acquire the application in one of two ways based on their device. For Apple iOS users (iOS version 10.1 or higher), search for “NAS Sighting” in the Apple iTunes App-Store to find and deploy the App to your iOS device. For Google Android users (Android version 5.1 or higher), a downloadable PDK along with instructions can be found on the main NAS Mobile Report a Sighting software page (https://nas.er.usgs.gov/MobileSightingReport.aspx).
After installing the NAS Sighting app, users can take pictures of the species, report GPS location data, and push this information to the NAS staging database for review and possible acceptance into the main database. Access to the device’s GPS location data, the mobile camera and mobile data service are controlled by the individual users on a per device basis.
The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program (https://nas.er.usgs.gov) is one of the largest repositories for spatially enabled occurrence data on non-native aquatic species with over 1,100 species and 430,000 sightings represented. Through the years, many field observations have been provided from citizen scientists using the “Report a Sighting” web interface (https://nas.er.usgs.gov/SightingReport.aspx). In an effort to expand the audience and allow data entry to occur at the point of observation, a new mobile application has been developed for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. Current, accurate observational data is important to informing the decision making process. By utilizing the latest in mobile data acquisition technology, the WARC Advanced Application Team (AAT) provides technical capacity to the NAS program helping them accomplish their goals.