This application will allow you to view and share observations of floods and its effects in real-time. You can also provide information about other related phenomena, places that may be at risk, evidence of historical floods, significant infrastructure or landmarks regarding floods.

Source: Android description (translated) / Image: Karl Grenet CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Useful information

Download: Android 4.0 (51.02MB) / iOS 7.0 (3.7MB) / web (map display)

Price: free

Language: English / Spanish / Catalan

Runs offline: no

Last update: Android 07/04/2016 – iOS 11/04/2016

Website of the developer: GAMA (Analysis Group for Adverse Weather Conditions – University of Barcelona) / In Cognita

Notes: article updated on 15/04/2016

Description

floodup is a citizen science app that, through photographs taken by registered users, collects information about the consequences of floods, vulnerable areas, the testimonies of historical floods, adverse events (hail, lightning, landslides, etc.) or cultural heritage relating to hydrology and protective infrastructure.

The main screen shows three sections, which are also accessible from a side menu that includes language selection options or information on the application:

  • “Post an observation”, section in which, before uploading a photograph (read first the conditions of publication of images that can be found in “About FLOOD-UP / Instructions and conditions”), you must select a category from the options “Vulnerable areas”, “floods”, “Historical memory”, “Other events” and “Other observations”. Each category offers specific information to facilitate the choice, being able to extend the information through the “Resources” option. The sending of images is completed with a map in which it must pinpoint the location of the image and a small form to include a description, date of photography and additional comments.
  • “Map”, section to check the records sent by other users. The results can be filtered by the different categories (icon on the top right). The map query is also possible from the website (the map LaRambla makes a special monitoring of the floods in the Mediterranean basin)..
  • “Resources”, section where you can find out the guidelines to choose the category or teaching materials and protection tips.

A recent update has added a push notifications system.

More information

http://www.floodup.ub.edu/ (highly recommended its visit for the numerous educational resources that it includes)

http://phys.org/news/2016-03-citizen-science-effects.html

Images: Screenshots 30/03/2016 © GAMA

Rating
4

Analysis

The consequences of floods, except the most severe episodes that involve economic and/or human losses, are usually circumscribed to the local level and go unnoticed for observation systems, so as Montserrat Llasat-Botija says in an article of a Spanish newspaper, «observations in situ made by citizens have great value», since, for example, through tools such as floodup, users can register hotspots (e.g. bridges with several spans that often have an effect of dam), report the effects of floods or notify historic floods. All these data then allow to establish patterns of behavior of streams that can serve for decision-making or warning systems.

Although the application of floodup highlights for its simplicity and good performance, it could be useful to include some improvements such as allow uploading photos through the website (you can send images to floodup2@gmail.com and the GAMA staff upload them to the system after validation, although this system, if you don’t specify the coordinates, may hinder the location of the pictures). It might also be interesting to create a newspaper archive that can complement users’ observations.

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Técnico de medio ambiente, community manager y content curator especializada en temas de medioambiente - Environmental technician, community manager and content curator specialised in environmental issues