Around 100 million Americans use web-connected, camera-equipped phones on a daily — probably hourly — basis. Which is why many developers are exploring how this extraordinary resource can be harnessed for social change. By using our phones to snap photographs of trash-filled riverbeds, for example, or geo-tag pervasive noise pollution, just about anyone can contribute to vital data treasures that can reshape the world. Such crowd-sourced data advances scientific research and improves long-term planning. Today, we feature a few of our favorite apps that are empowering everyday people to become citizen scientists:

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