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Phenotracker - the flood reporting citizen science mobile app

University of Bradford, Bradford; Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Aberdeen City Council;
Work carried out as part of EC funded project Smart Cities and Open Data REuse(SCORE); Contact person: Dr Dhaval Thakker (

Citizen science (CS) is a process where citizens, government agencies, industries, academia, community groups, and local institutions collaborate to monitor and respond to common issues such as environmental problems, flood reporting and monitoring.

Use of technology is a driving force behind boosting the motivation and engagment of citizens. Emerging technologies could have the potential to improve data collection, captivate a broader audience, and motivate citizens on their participation, improved data quality and automation processes. Considering these facts, the University of Bradford in the coordination of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Aberdeen City Council have developed Flood Reporting Citizen Science Mobile App (PhenoTracker) as a service that can be utilized by citizens to report flooding related matters from their community or their properties. Through this app, citizens can contribute to the gathering of flooding data without any prior training or technical background.

This app also allows the local authorities to map the flood risk area and allows automated prioritisation of flood reports. It has been designed and developed for encouraging citizens towards flood reporting, bringing two-way collaborative communication and an accessible and responsive reporting platform to the citizens and local authorities.

Phenotracker is an android app to report flooding instances by citizens from the flood risk area.
Playstore link:

Screenshots of different features of the Phenotracker mobile application

1a: Home view of the app. This view has marker notification of the reports. Abstract information of the reports can be viewed by clicking these markers. Also, in this view, location search helps to locate report from a particular area.

1b: First step of reporting - location setting view of the application where by default the location is picked as user’s current location. But, manual location can be assigned while generating a report.

1c: A list view of all the reports submitted by citizens. These reports appear in the order of the nearest location to the device’s location.

1d: Alert notification view. Alert notification generated by local authorities appeared on the application with all the details.

Flood Reporting Web App (for local authorities use)

We designed and developed a web application that acts as an interactive dashboard for the local authorities. The dashboard has a real-time connection with the mobile application via the common real-time database implemented with firebase service. Fig 3. Shows one of the page of the web application that used for creating alert for any region.

Features of Flooding Citizen Science App

  • Interactive dashboard with the mobile app
  • Visualise/search all the reports from any area.
  • Change the status of the report to give citizen’s feedback.
  • Create an alert to notify and interact with the citizen to gather more information.
  • Set geography-based different priority levels.
  • Intelligent prioritisation of reports based on the report location and priority defined by the local authority.

Screenshot of creating an alert through the Phenotracker web application