Citizen science to prevent the effects of floods

March 2, 2016

Researchers from UPM are involved in the development of a mobile phone application that allows user to share information about floods and their effects in order to help researchers.

Researchers have developed Flood-up, a project that aims to foster awareness of flooding, and at the same time, to provide citizens with tools to help researchers in the prevention of these .

Researchers from Hydroinformatics and Water Management Group at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Ebro Observatory (URL-CSIC) and coordinated by Universidad de Barcelona (UB) are involved in this projects and have just launched the Flood-up application that can be freely downloaded on mobile devices.

The new tool allows users to locate and share images of diverse aspects related to floods and heavy rain. According to Carme Llasat, coordinator of the project and director of the Group of Analysis of Adverse Meteorological Situations (GAMA) at UB: "When an occurs, we do not have all the information and we cannot fully map their effects.  If we can have data from all the affected areas with this application, we will be able to better assess the phenomena and their impacts. Likewise, pictures of past floods and their effects will allow us to rebuild these episodes."

The images shared by users in both the application and on the website can be classified in a map by color and content: flood, rain, hail, lightning, landslides. Additionally, other images of vulnerable areas during flooding can be shared, such as a construction in the middle of a stream or a sewer in poor condition. This information can be even used to increase safety of people since it can help to report malpractices.

Likewise, this application includes an educational section with information about flood causes and effects. In addition, users can find information about safety measures in case of threatening weather.

Explore further: When will Britain wake up to the link between climate change and flooding?

More information: Flood-up in Google Play: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.ub.floodup

Flood-up in App Store: itunes.apple.com/es/app/floodup/id1055584895?mt=8

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