In the forefront of the Paris Climate Conference COP21 in December 2015, the WGMS and UNESCO jointly launched a Glacier App for mobile devices. In August 2017, version 2.0 of the wgms Glacier App will be launched at the Glacier Science Week at EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. This new information system aims at bringing scientifically sound facts and figures on worldwide glacier changes to decision makers at governmental and intergovernmental levels as well as reaching out to the interested public.
The wgms Glacier App provides a map interface based on satellite images that display all the observed glaciers in the user’s proximity (Fig. 1). Basic information is provided for each glacier (Fig. 2), including photographs and general information on size and elevation. Graphs with observation data illustrate the glacier’s development, along with information on latest principal investigators and their sponsoring agencies as well as detailed explanations of the measurement types. A text search allows the user to filter the glacier by name, country, region, measurement type and the current “health” status, i.e. if the glacier has gained or lost ice over the past decade. A compass (Fig. 3) shows the closest observed glaciers in all directions from the user’s current position.
Version 2.0 of the Glacier App includes new data on glacier special events such as floods, avalanches, surge or calving dynamics. It allows the user to submit own glacier photographs, and it gives improved visibility of principal investigators and latest publications related to glacier observations. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other filter options allow to search for fascinating glaciers.
Finally, the card game (Fig. 4) allows the user to compete against the computer on the best monitored glaciers in the world. Test your glacier knowledge and win the game!
The wgms Glacier App was jointly developed by the WGMS and Ubique within the Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems, a project by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and coordinated by the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss. The wgms Glacier App is available at no costs from Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
All data is made freely available for scientific and educational purposes under the requirement of correct citation of the WGMS and/or the original investigators and sponsoring agencies. We are tracking anonymized data on the use of the wgms Glacier App for statistical purposes and for optimizing the app. These tracking data do not allow conclusions about the individual persons but provide general information on the usage of the app. The anonymized data are gathered through Google Analytics.