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Citizen Science with Smartphones

Welcome to our repository of smartphone apps for environmental education and research

Here is a list of smartphone apps that are useful to explore nature, to do research based on the data and measurements you acquired and to learn in your own living environment.

You can use these apps on Learning, Exploring and Activity Paths (LEAPs), which are specially marked trails in or around Cologne, where interesting information is provided about the various locations. Ultilizing these smartphone, apps you can observe and document environmental phenomena in a structured and traceable way. LEAPs use the ENERLE concept: Explore Nature, Explain through Research, Learn in your Environment

With these websites, we want to help you to explore nature and to learn about your own living environment. Whether you use these apps on a hike, on a bicycle tour or on an excursion, we are sure you will be able to observe nature, understand environmental changes and learn interesting things about your environment. Whether you use these apps by yourself or for your educational endeavors (for instance in the frame of a school excursion), we are sure that the apps will be quite useful to explore the environment and to learn about scientific methods to document and diagnose environmental properties.

We are currently in the process of establishing LEAPs in and around Cologne. Our logo will help you to identify a LEAP. By scanning the QR code, you will be guided to a webpage that provides interesting information about your location. Depending upon your location, suggestions for apps for environmental observations are made. Thus, you will not only learn interesting things about your environment, but you can explore the environment on your own and even provide data that can help researchers. But you can also do research yourself. The data provided by the apps can be uploaded and used for your own analyses.

The smart phone apps provided here are simple browser-based applications. So a special installation procedure is not needed. However, you need to be patient when uploading the apps and we recommend bookmarking the apps. For the first use, we recommend uploading the apps while you have access to a WLAN. This way you will not use your mobile data. The use of the apps is of course free of charge and free of advertisement.

Don’t just read about science, do science!

A list of all apps is also available on our websites, along with a brief explanation on how to use the apps.  The data collected with the apps are available through this link.

Now would be a good time to download the apps to your smart phone and bookmark them. If you have bookmarked the apps you will not need Internet access to use them. The data you have collected will be stored locally on your smart phone and uploaded automatically once your smart phone has access to a WLAN.

Funding: RheinEnergie Stiftung; Project head: Prof. Dr. Karl Schneider