We are happy to introduce our inaugural Scent newsletter. The newsletter provides regular updates on project progress and informs you about highlights, relevant events and ways to get involved. This issue is an introductory one; it gives you an overview of the status of Scent and of the close collaboration taking place both internally between Scent partners and externally between Scent and the Citizens’ Observatories sister projects. The newsletter will be published four times per year; one issue per season.
Scent is a three-year project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Have a nice summer!
The Scent team
Scent System Architecture
The Scent project will enable citizens to become the ‘eyes’ of the policy makers by monitoring land-cover/use changes in their everyday activities. This is achieved through the following integrated set of smart collaborative technologies:
- low-cost/portable data collection tools,
- an innovative crowd-sourcing platform,
- serious gaming applications for a large-scale image collection and semantic annotation,
- a powerful machine-learning based intelligence engine for image and text classification,
- an authoring tool for easy customisation by policy makers,
- numerical models for mapping land-cover changes to quantifiable impact on flood risks, and
- a harmonisation platform consolidating data and adding it to GEOSS as OGC-based observations.
The architectural design of the system followed a well-established methodology that led to a comprehensive architecture description which serves the following goals:
- Complement existing in-situ infrastructure through a network of low-cost portable sensors and smart collaborative technologies,
- Generate an unprecedented and low-maintenance pool of near real-time observations that will monitor land cover/ use changes/environmental phenomena,
- Offer data via web services into existing repositories, such as the GEOSS portal,
- Allow policy-makers to obtain a dynamic view of land-use changes while directly involving citizens in the decision making process,
- Go beyond a research prototype level by clearly fitting and extending evolving market needs through its operational sustainability and complementarity with existing initiatives (e.g. the Geo-wiki).
Scent Innovative Sensors
The main objective of the work package on innovative sensors is to identify suitable low-cost, portable market-ready sensors that measure soil moisture, water/air temperature and other relevant parameters. In addition, digital cameras integrated into drones based on open source hardware platforms for obtaining spatially continuous data with an increased accuracy will be designed and implemented. The main activities to date are summarised below:
- A detailed list of identified existing sensorial solutions that meet the defined user needs was compiled,
- These solutions were evaluated based on the Scent System Requirements,
- Existing drone platforms and related software components were evaluated,
- Based on the aforementioned steps, a set of portable and flying sensing devices was proposed.
The work package focusing on flooding patterns started with the classical approach of building the models that will represent the flooding behaviour in the two pilot sites of Scent: the Sontea Fortuna area in the Danube Delta in Romania and the Kifisos catchment around Athens in Greece.
The entire Danube Delta was modelled as a one-dimensional hydrodynamic model for its three main branches. Based on water level and discharges obtained in this model, boundary conditions were set for three detailed models of the pilot in the Danube Delta; the Sontea Fortuna area. The three detailed hydrodynamic models are:
- A one-dimensional model of the two main Danube branches in the pilot are together with the canals in the area;
- The previous model extended with the lakes that are located in the pilot area and;
- A 1D/2D hydrodynamic model of the whole pilot area.
Modelling of the second pilot area just started and a synthetic rainfall event is now considered for the hydrological model of the Kifisos catchment. The next steps will include testing the model with real rainfall.
All three models were calibrated for discharge measurements during dry periods and results identified the time and location of stagnant water in some of the canals in the pilot area. Currently the modelling work focuses on validation and flooding patterns for the wet periods.
The Scent consortium gathered for its second plenary meeting in Rome 14-15 June 2017. The two-day plenary was attended by 24 partners representing all 10 partner organisations.
The agenda covered the progress made since the first plenary in Dublin in February and the current status of the key active tasks. The schedule allowed for informative presentations, interactive workshops as well as bilateral discussions between partners.
The plenary successfully brought the entire consortium up to date with the status of the project, the main developments over the last few months and the plan for the summer and autumn.
The Scent toolbox requirements and architecture were presented and the work done and the next steps on incentivising citizens’ participation in Scent were outlined. The innovative and portable sensors, drones and software solutions to be used in Scent were introduced and the development of the Scent crowd-sourcing platform was described. The progress of the work on the Scent Intelligence engine, including the collection of annotated images, was discussed in detail. The status and the future plans regarding the Scent hydrological and hydrodynamic models were also brought to light. The communication, dissemination and exploitation efforts designed to ensure impact were presented. In addition, a brainstorming session was organised to kick off the preparation of the pilot activities.
Thanks to Rovigo-based XTeam, the meeting was excellently organised, it ran smoothly and all partners were pleased with their stay in the Italian capital.
The close collaboration between partners will continue online until the next face-to-face meeting in Delft in autumn 2017.
Scent Collaborates With Other Citizens’ Observatories To Create Successful Sessions
One of the contributions of Scent is to add data to Earth Observation systems such as GEOSS, with an overarching objective of improving the monitoring of changes in the environment, in particular in relation to land use. To this end, the latest European GEO Workshop EuroGEOSS: shaping the European contribution to GEOSS held 19th-21st June 2017 in Helsinki was an invaluable opportunity to learn of the impact that contributions to GEOSS have had on policy making and on livelihoods across Europe. The opportunity to network with fellow citizens’ observatories (CO) projects and to collaborate to produce helpful discussions about the value of citizen data in GEOSS was immensely valuable as well.
What is GEOSS? GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) brings together earth observation systems from across the world, increasing understanding of earth processes and access to information and data to a range of users.
In Scent, the data that citizens generate for example by playing games and annotating images will be processes by the Scent toolbox, from which it will made available to GEOSS. Scientists and policy makers will then be able to access it and use it to shape better land-use management policies.
Scent was represented at the workshop by partners from ICCS and Carr Communications collaborating with fellow CO projects: LandSense, GroundTruth2.0 and Grow Observatory. Scent Coordinator Athanasia Tsertou chaired a session on citizens’ observatories and harmonisation of citizen-generated data. She spoke about best practices and challenges in data harmonisation from the perspective of Scent, where the citizen-generated data will be used to enhance land-cover and land-use monitoring processes.
Also relevant to Scent was a discussion surrounding the need for acceptance and quality of citizen data, such as implementing “Seven pillars of quality” in data collection and ensuring citizens have clarity on their tasks to ensure the best data is collected.
Communications experts in Scent, Linda Henriksson and Amy Hume from Carr Communications collaborated with other COs investigating the secrets to engaging citizens. Engagement is integral to citizens’ observatories and should not be seen as an additional activity or after thought. The discussion highlighted the importance of feedback to users, using social media to create connections between users and communities and the valuable contribution that citizens can make to cover data gaps.
Overall it was a fascinating couple of days, which garnered a fuller appreciation of the importance of citizens’ observatories and the importance of contributing to GEOSS. We enjoyed getting to know our colleagues from LandSense, Groundtruth2.0 and Grow Observatory and look forward to future collaborations at similar events.
As digital technologies and the Internet change rapidly, new opportunities present themselves to address some of society’s biggest challenges. Across Europe, people are exploring these opportunities, such as creating digital platforms and social networks for people with chronic health conditions, and developing online communities, where citizens can map and share data on pollution levels and climate change in their areas.
Representatives of CAPS EU-funded projects and relevant DSI (Digital Social Innovation) initiatives met in Rimini, Italy to capture views and contributions on the priorities to set out in the Manifesto for Digital Social Innovation in Europe. CAPS is an EU initiative for designing and putting into motion online platforms for raising awareness about sustainability, an area requiring creative solutions from across Europe. DSI initiatives develop digital solutions to social challenges. A new platform funded by the EU, DSI4EU, has been developed for consolidating the networks of digital projects across Europe tackling social obstacles.
The manifesto sets out the opportunities and challenges for DSI, and defines the measures needed to maximise success and explores the best practices in social innovation processes. DSI has the potential to contribute to tackling the most important challenges facing Europe today, however most DSI initiatives still operate at a relatively small scale. The DSI Manifesto will contribute to understanding how social innovation processes can be reinforced, transferred and reused for effective scaling up of social innovation initiatives.
Daniele Miorandi and Andrea Cuoghi from Scent partner organisation U-Hopper attended the workshop on behalf of Scent. Scent’s participation in the DSI initiative is important for:
- Ensuring the visibility of Scent (and other COs) within a relevant community of innovators, researchers and policy makers
- Contributing to the DSI community with key learnings from the design, deployment and running of COs with regard to user engagement strategies and enabling supportive ICT tools and platforms.
Daniele and Andrea were active in discussions on the topics of “Collective intelligence: adoption, interoperability, real needs of online communities, motivation, open data and privacy standards” and “From the Internet of Things to the Internet of Communities”. Daniele and Andrea were active participants in the discussions, engaging in meaningful dialogues with institutions across Europe. It was clear from the discussions that, while not a formal DSI member, Scent shares many features with other DSI initiatives. An ongoing knowledge and best-practice exchange will therefore be mutually beneficial and open up exciting opportunities for future collaborations.
37th IAHR World Congress
International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research World Congress
13-18 Aug 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Heart of Gaming
22-26 Aug 2017
Infrastructure for spatial information in Europe
4-5 September 2017, Kehl, Germany
6-8 September, Strasbourg, France
Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics
28-30 Sep 2017
24-26 Oct 2017
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 688930.