Discover Nature and Climate With New Geo App
Taking its guidance from the 2022 Science Year motto “Nachgefragt!,” loosely translated as “Enquiring Minds,” RWTH institutes have jointly developed a special “OpenGeoResearch” app for the general public.
In everyday life, we regularly encounter questions that relate to a specific location and cannot be answered easily by researching on our own. The now published app “OpenGeoResearch - Climate, Environment, City” provides answers to these particular, location-specific questions. The platform was developed by the Geodetic Institute and the Department of Geography at RWTH Aachen University in collaboration with other partners to promote lively exchange between scientists and the general public and answer questions referring to a specific geographical location through open dialogue and discussion. The project is part of the German Ministry of Education and Research’s 2022 Science Year program, “Nachgefragt!.”
In “OpenGeoResearch - Climate, Environment, City,” users can submit their questions directly via the app. They can pinpoint the question to a location and add images. Researchers are tasked with moderating the submitted questions and answers, but they can also add scientifically based expert answers themselves. Many topics are represented, from geography to nature and climate to urban planning.
The central aspect of the app is its participatory approach, as all interested parties and experts jointly search for answers to the questions posed. At the same time, the project follows a “Citizen Science” approach, which is about how citizens can participate in scientific research and how valuable local knowledge can be used. Ultimately, these questions can also lead to a better understanding of modern local research fields, and new scientific knowledge can be gained.
“We are very pleased in our project team that the project is now starting and we are very excited to see what questions will be asked via the app in the coming days and weeks,” says Professor Jörg Blankenbach, head of the Geodetic Institute at RWTH. “The new platform offers us the opportunity to establish a way for the general public to participate in science. We are sure that by collaborating with citizens, we will discover exciting new – especially local – research topics,” adds Dr. Stefan Herlé, project manager at the Geodetic Institute.
As of today, the app is available for free download for Android devices on the OpenGeoResearch website. An iOS version is also planned.