The ICTA – CVC App Plant*tes wins a Research Prize from the Generalitat de Catalunya
The app Plant*tes, developed by the Aerobiological information point (PIA-UAB), the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) and the Computer Vision Center, has won a prize dedicated to Research, development and innovation from the Generalitat de Catalunya.The app is a citizen science project which intends to inform about the existing allergic plants within cities and the phenological state of the plant. The final aim is to help comprehend in a more effective way the relationship between environment and allergic diseases, and contribute to improve the life quality of people within the city. The app shows users different images from the most common allergic plants and offers them the information of how their flowers and fruits look like. The system allows the user to localize within a map an exact point where that plant is located, what type of plant it is, and the phenological phase (if it's in flower formation, if the flower is closed, open or if it already has a fruit). This information can then be visualized by the rest of the users and can help them decide the most recommendable route within a city in order to avoid the places where these plants are more numerous. The app has received the Environment Prize, according to the Generalitat "because of the scientific robustness of the project development and of its citizen oriented nature". The app creators hope that this initiative might be of a general public interest and wants to also make it into a tool for schools, civic centers and institutions which will collaborate and promote its continued use. Citizen collaboration is essential within this project in order to ensure the information will be changing over time of how plants are flowering within the city walls and streets. This text is a short translation of the full excerpt published by the ICTA press office which can be read here (in Spanish). In the media (in chronological order): La Vanguardia, 07/06/2017, 'Cuatro grupos de investigación reciben Premio Medio Ambiente de Generalitat' Betevé, 07/06/2017, 'Reportatge: Plant*tes, una aplicació per als al·lèrgics' El Periódico, 10/05/2017, 'Una app permite a los ciudadanos ayudar a identificar las plantas alergénicas' Diari de Tarragona, 08/03/2017 'Esta primavera traerá elevados niveles de polen a Catalunya'