Scent enables citizens to become the ‘eyes’ of policymakers by monitoring changes in the environment using their smartphones.
Europe has invested a lot in infrastructure to achieve an accurate Earth observation capacity. Initiatives such as Copernicus provide a mapping of forest areas, wetlands or artificial surfaces; yet, the burden of investing in new equipment or maintaining the current infrastructure is unsustainable. Ways of complementing the in-situ infrastructure with citizen-sourced data at a low cost are sought. Whilst citizen participation in environmental policymaking is in its infancy, citizens feel unable to influence environmental policies.
The SCENT project aimed to alleviate this barrier. Through a constellation of smart technologies (including an augmented reality application modelled around the popular game Pokémon Go), SCENT enabled citizens to become the ‘eyes’ of policymakers and monitor land-cover/use changes through everyday activities.
The SCENT Toolbox: a crowd-sourcing platform, gaming applications, an authoring tool, an intelligence engine and numerical models, allows citizens, policymakers and other users to freely use Scent technologies to contribute to the aims of the project. Thousands of volunteers tested the toolbox in two large scale pilots: the urban case of the Kifisos river in Attica, Greece and the rural case of the Danube Delta in Romania.