Scientists from the EU-funded Scent research project have developed a new environmental game based on augmented reality, called ‘Scent Explore’.

  • Scent Explore enables and encourage citizens to monitor land cover/ land use changes in their local environments – helping to improve the accuracy of existing flood risk maps and thus help to prevent flood risks in a more efficient way.
  • Scent is looking for volunteers in Greece to help test Scent Explore in the flood-prone Attica Region on 14, 16 and 17 September 2018. You can become a ‘citizen-scientist’ and join the pilot testing at the Kifisos river by registering here.

Thursday, September 13th 2018: Scientists from across Europe have developed a new augmented reality environmental game as part of the EU funded Scent research project.

The game is called ‘Scent Explore’ – it enables citizens to monitor changes in their local environment, and supports the collection of valuable scientific data.

Scent Explore is simple to use and fun. Download the application on your smartphone or tablet find the Scent creatures hidden in your locality and earn points. Use the augmented reality feature of the game to ‘capture’ a Scent creature by taking its photo. The creatures have been placed in specific locations of environmental interest so that images can be gathered and changes in land cover and land use can be monitored in that exact location.

“The Attica region in Greece, specifically the Kifisos river basin, has been chosen as one of the first regions in Europe to test this new app. Attica is a flash flood-prone region, with has experienced a high frequency of floods over the last years. Citizens can help support a more efficient collection of information about Land Cover / Use changes in their local environments by using Scent Explore. By playing this fun game, they can also report flood-related events like the existence of obstacles in the river and flooded locations, as well as measure water levels and flow velocity,” said Dr. Angelos Amditis, Scent Project Coordinator and Research Director at the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems in Athens.

“The pictures and data collected by citizens through low-cost equipment will improve the accuracy of existing land cover/land use maps and flood models. The use of citizens’ contributions in conjunction with the data that is currently available from other sources, such as satellite images, aims to assist crucial and necessary actions, like the deployment of flood control projects.

“The goal is also to investigate how such citizen observatories may help make areas close to flood plains less vulnerable to disasters. We believe that if we are more informed about the changes in our surroundings, more informed decisions can be made to protect the environment for future generations,” he added.

Scent Explore is one of four new applications developed by the Scent Project researchers to assist a variety of stakeholders, including scientists, ecologists, hydrologists and local authorities, to get a more precise understanding of changes to the land and environment.

The data collected by citizens using the Scent applications is considered to be more accurate and dynamic than some existing measures, as it records real-time information that can complement existing global mapping databases such as GEOSS and Copernicus.

Scent scientists are now looking for volunteers to play the Scent Explore game and help them test this new app and collect valuable data at the Kifisos River Basin, in the Attica Region of Greece, on 14, 16 and 17 September 2018.

Download Scent Explore from the app store or from Google Play today and join in our app demonstrations in Attica, Greece. Invite your family and friends to join in and make the experience more fun.

The Scent scientists will provide you with the necessary training before you start the on-site use of the application. By joining our campaign, you will learn new skills and work with similar-minded people, while collecting land cover and land use images.

An app demonstration and training will take place each day at 10am (EEST) in the Auditorium of the General Directorate of Transport and Communications of the Region of Attica, (156 Mesogeion Str., Cholargos). A field visit will follow where the ‘newly appointed’ citizen scientists will have the chance to play with Scent Explore and compete against each other. Click here to register your details and select the day/s you prefer.

 

For more information on the Scent movement and how to get involved, please visit www.scentproject.eu

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