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Levävahti – a Human Sensor smart phone application to monitor algae situation by public

Organisation: Oy International Business Machines Ab

Time: 3/31/2011 – 12/31/2011



The goal is to enable and encourage people in monitoring of the Baltic Sea marine environment.

The goal is to enable and encourage people in monitoring of the Baltic Sea marine environment.

This is realised by developing
1) a user-friendly communication tool to report specific visual algae observations.
The tool will be an application which is easy to install and use in a smart phone.
2) a database where the observations are stored and
3) a visualization tool to display the observations

Observations to be monitored in the coastal and open waters of the Baltic Sea
1. Abundance of cyanobacterial blooms (la Cyanobacteria, fi sinilevät, sv blågröna alger)
2. Health of bladder wrack belt (la Fucus vesiculosus, fi rakkolevä, sv blåstång)
3. Option to send a photograph.
4. Information on observation time, date and geographic location will be recorded automatically
5. The Levävahti observations will be visualized in the Internet pages:

Levävahti is a Human Sensor programme for the Baltic Sea and will make use of social media, such as Facebook, in communication within the interest group since the success of the Human Sensor approach will depend on awareness, publicity and branding. The information collected and derived will be open for other applications.

The project is carried out in co-operation with SYKE, IBM and VTT. SYKE is responsible for the content design of the Levävahti application. The Levävahti communication tool for smart phones is developed by IBM for iPhone and by VTT for Nokia and Android devices. Solutions for data collection and visualization are developed by VTT and SYKE. All partners commit to the promotion of Levävahti in social media and other forums.

Levävahti is a pilot project in the field of citizen/human sensor monitoring of the state of the Baltic Sea. Experiences gained from the Levävahti project will be summarized by the end of the year 2011 and utilized in follow-up projects for environmental monitor making use of smart phone applications.

Objective of the Commitment:
The commitment enables Human Sensor type real-time monitoring of the algae situation of the Baltic Sea. Blue green algae blooms may develop fast and on the other hand disappear rapidly depending on weather conditions. Without real-time citizen observations there is a lack of information on present status of the blooms.

The bladder wrack is one of the key species as an indicator of good status of the sea. Spatially a sufficient amount of observations of existence of bladder wrack is crucial, as ecosystem approach is launched to the decision making processes and implementation of marine directives as well as national legislation.

In the future the Levävahti concept including the communication tool, data management and best publicity practices could be a basis to collect a larger variety of Baltic Sea observations e.g. occurrence of jelly fish, clean shore (marine litter) and, exceptional events (such as fish and bird kills) The Levävahti application is available in Finnish language but in the future other language versions could be offered as well. The monitoring tool could then be made available for larger audience.