Frequently Asked Questions

Using the App:


Is the GLOBE Observer app free?

Yes, there is no cost to the app, although you will need to register with an email address. The app currently requires a device running Android 5.0 or iOS 8 and above to operate.


I don't see my country in the drop-down list when I try to create/register a new account. Why not?

Internationally, GLOBE is implemented through bilateral agreements between the U.S. government and governments of partner nations. (See a list of GLOBE countries.) In the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the lead agency and signs the GLOBE agreements. In GLOBE countries, typically, the Ministry of Education, Environment or Science are the implementing entities and the signatories of GLOBE agreements. Schools, organizations and individuals in non-GLOBE countries are encouraged to contact someone from the appropriate Ministry in their countries regarding their interest in participating in the GLOBE Program.


How do I change my password?

Within the app, tap on the outline of the person in the upper right, then select the "Forgot/Change Password" option. On a computer, you can go to and click on the "Forgot/Change Password" in the upper right (you will need to be logged out to see the link). Once on that page, enter your email address in the box and click the "Send Password Reset Link " button. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. Passwords must be at least eight characters long and include at least one upper case letter and one number.


Do I need to have an Internet connection to collect data?

You do need an Internet connection to download the app and receive your initial login information via email. After that, all data collection can be done offline. However, don’t forget to send in your observations when you get back to an area with signal or a WiFi connection! In addition, the My Map feature in Land Cover will not work without an Internet connection.


My latitude and longitude aren't showing up correctly to make observations. What should I do?

Make sure you have activated location services on your phone. On iOS, this is under Settings > Privacy. For Android, this is under Settings > Location. Also, make sure that you have allowed the GLOBE Observer app to access your location while using it. You may also try closing the app and reopening it to reset things. It is also possible to manually adjust the map to reflect the your correct current location when you start an observation, if needed.


How do I know my observations sent successfully?

Any observations that have not been sent to GLOBE will be stored on the phone, viewable by tapping the “Review/Send My Observations” button on the menu page for each tool, or by tapping the graph icon at the bottom of every screen. Select an individual observation or “Select All” and click the “Send Observation to GLOBE” button that has now turned green. Observations containing pictures may take additional time to send. A pop-up message reading “Success - Your Observation has been successfully sent to GLOBE” will appear once the observation has been sent to GLOBE.


Should there be people in my pictures?

Generally, no. Any pictures where faces are visible or identifiable (especially students or other minors) will not be approved for posting.


My phone won’t enter automatic picture mode for Clouds or Land Cover. What’s wrong?

Check to make sure you don’t have orientation lock enabled (found in different places depending on the phone model), as that will prevent your screen from rotating and not allow you to enter automatic picture mode.


Can I join the program and contribute data without downloading the app?

You are able to sign up for a citizen science account using the form here. However, without training, the only way to submit data is via the GLOBE Observer app. If you are interested in using the web data entry forms or exploring more of the 50+ data collection protocols offered by the full GLOBE Program, check out the e-training page. You will need to complete an introductory module, plus a specific sphere introduction (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere or pedosphere) and at least one protocol-specific module. Each module consists of a PowerPoint presentation to review, plus an assessment test (you will need to be logged in to your GLOBE Observer account to take the test.) Further questions? Contact us.


How do I change the language in the app?

Tap on the outline of the person in the upper right, then scroll down to the "Change Language" button.


Seeing my Data:


Where can I see my observations once I submit them?

You can see your observations by tapping on the “See My Data” button in the menu for each protocol. If you are logged in to your account while on, you can also click on the “View My Observations” button at the upper right.


Why don't I see my photographs on the map of today's GLOBE Observer data points?

First, make sure you submitted the data to GLOBE (see above). Even if your observations have been submitted, all photos from untrained observers are reviewed before being made available in the database. Check back after the next business day and your photos should be on the map.


How do I use the GLOBE Visualization System to explore my data and data collected by other citizen scientists? 

The GLOBE Visualization System is a powerful tool for exploring data. Clicking the question mark icon in the upper right hand corner can access an informational tutorial. A full tutorial is available via PowerPoint or PDF


Don't see your question answered here? Contact us!