citizens measuring gamma radiation

GammaSense makes radiation visible

GammaSense is a platform for the measurement of radioactive radiation. It enables citizens to measure gamma radiations with an open hardware solution and visualises their measurements on an interactive map. By collecting data with a network of citizens, GammaSense aims to enrich the measurements made by official bodies. This method is called Citizen Sensing.

Citizen Sensing

Citizen Sensing is a new way for citizens to use technological sensing tools to make sense of their environments and address critical environmental issues. Radioactive radiation is a naturally occurring phenomenon that permeates our environment. But in residential areas close to nuclear power plants, it is valuable for citizens to stay informed about potentially increased radiation levels. By enabling citizens to measure radioactive radiation and by visualising the results on a map, citizens can have direct insight in radiation levels.

Citizen Sensing tries to fill the gaps in official measurements of radiation with civil measurements of the surroundings. With cheap and accessible open-source sensors, radiation can be mapped throughout The Netherlands. In this way, citizen sensing can raise local issues and provide data to bring about change. Data can for example be used to start a new conversation based on a better understanding of the situation. Solutions can also be better tailored to the actual local situation.

Waag and Citizen Sensing

GammaSense is an important project within Waag’s research into citizen-driven data collection on the quality of the living environment. Earlier, Waag was part of the European research project Making Sense, that included nine pilots in Barcelona, Pristina (Kosovo) and Amsterdam. The project is highlighted in the documentary Citizen Science Revolution.