Worldwide glacier information system to go

Friday, 12 February, 2016 - 09:12

The «wgms Glacier App» provides scientific information and photographs of more than 3,700 glaciers. The app of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, hosted at the University of Zurich, provides public access to glacier observations from around the world. It shows how many glaciers are still advancing or how well developed glacier monitoring in your country is. The «wgms Glacier App» is based on a comprehensive research database and aims at bringing corresponding facts and figures to decision makers at governmental and intergovernmental levels. Glaciologists of the University of Zurich launched the new app jointly with UNESCO in the forefront of the UN Climate Conference in Paris. «We hope to raise the delegations’ awareness of climate change happening already today», states Michael Zemp, Director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service and glaciologist of the University of Zurich.

Increase the visibility of glacier observers

The «wgms Glacier App» shows all observed glaciers on a satellite map. Basic information is provided for each glacier, including photographs and general information on size and elevation. A text search allows the user to filter the glaciers by name, country, region, and measurement type. They can learn which glaciers have gained or lost ice over the past decade. A compass shows the closest observed glaciers in all directions from the user’s current position. The glacier card game allows the user to compare the best observed glacier in the world and to compete against the computer. In addition, graphs with observation data illustrate the glaciers development, along with information on local investigators and detailed explanations of the measurement types. «We want to increase the visibility of the hundreds of glacier observers around the globe. Their work documents the impact of climate change on glaciers», says Nico Mölg, scientific project leader of the World Glacier Monitoring Service.

Available in four languages 

The «wgms Glacier App» is available in German, English, Spanish and Russian for Apple and Android devices. It was jointly developed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service and Ubique, the company responsible for the technical implementation of the App. «The wealth of glacier data is optimally visualized with a great usability for each audience through the different interfaces such as map and text search, compass, and glacier game», says Mathias Wellig, CEO of Ubique.



wgms Glacier App  

The «wgms Glacier App» was jointly developed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service and Ubique in the framework of the international cooperation project CATCOS Phase 2 (Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems). CATCOS Phase 2 is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and coordinated by the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss. 

World Glacier Monitoring Service

The World Glacier Monitoring Service has collected worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together with its National Correspondents in more than 35 countries, the international service compiles and disseminates standardized glacier observations in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The World Glacier Monitoring Service is hosted at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich, is co-financed by the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss within the framework of GCOS Switzerland, and works under the auspices of ICSU(WDS), IUGG(IACS), UNEP, UNESCO, and WMO.

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