RWTH: Discover nature and climate with the new geo app

In everyday life, we regularly encounter questions that relate to a specific place and can hardly be answered by our own research. The recently published app “OpenGeoResearch – Climate, Environment, City” provides answers to these spatial questions. The platform was developed by the Geodetic Institute and Geographical Institute of the RWTH together with other cooperation partners in order to promote the exchange between science and the population and to answer geographically locatable questions in dialogue. The project is part of the BMBF’s “Science Year 2022 – Asked!”.

In “OpenGeoResearch – Climate, Environment, City” users can ask their questions directly via the app, the question is localized and can be supported by images. Researchers moderate the submitted questions and answers, but also add scientifically based expert answers themselves. From geography to nature and climate to urban planning, many subject areas are represented. The central aspect of the app is its participatory approach, as all interested parties and experts work together to find answers to the questions asked. At the same time, the project follows the “Citizen Science” approach, which is about how science can be shaped by citizens and how valuable, local knowledge can be used.

“We as a project team are pleased that the project is now starting and are very excited to see what questions will be asked in the app in the next few days and weeks,” says Professor Jörg Blankenbach, head of the Geodetic Institute at RWTH. “The new platform offers the opportunity to establish a participatory approach between the public and science. We are sure that together with the citizens we will discover exciting new – especially local – research topics,” adds Dr. Stefan Herlé, project manager at the Geodetic Institute.

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