Mosquito Alert

Combining Mobile Positioning Data with Citizen Scientists' Observations to Better Track Disease-Vector Mosquitoes

John Palmer, Aitana Oltra, Frederic Bartumeus

These Slides

The Disease Vector Problem

How do you monitor a stratified or "jumpy" invasion?

Citizen-Science Solution

Mosquito Alert

  • citizen reporting
  • expert validation
  • management portals
  • public dissemination
  • ~30,000 participants
  • ~10,000 reports

Citizen Science vs. Ovitraps

MethodCost per sq. km. per month
Ovitraps9.36 Euros
Mosquito Alert1.23 Euros

The Sampling Effort Problem

How do you correct for uneven sampling effort?


Are there tiger mosquitoes in Tartu?

Mobile Positioning Solution

Mosquito Alert Background Tracking

  • optional
  • location sampled 5 times per day
  • random times excluding nighttime
  • anonymization in ~20km2 sampling cells

Reporting Propensity Model

probability ($\pi_i$) of $i$ sending report as function of:
  • time since registration ($t$)
  • $i$'s intrinsic motivation ($\alpha_i$)

$$log\left(\frac{\pi_{it}}{1-\pi_{it}}\right) = \alpha_i + \beta_1t + \beta_2t^2 + \beta_3t^3$$

Cross Validation

Overall agreement: 86%

Mosquito Alert
OvitrapsPos.5242 (77%)1565 (23%)
Neg.9140 (13%)60229 (87%)

More Information


This project is coordinated by the institutions CREAFCEAB-CSIC and ICREA.


Since 2015 the project has been promoted and funded by la Fundació Bancaria “la Caixa”.


The project is co-funded by the Organisme Autònom de Salut Pública de la Diputació de Girona (Dipsalut), the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) and Lokímica.