«The future is in your hands». With these words, the meteorologist Tomàs Molina encouraged the students of the Josep Serrat i Bonastre, Vila de Gràcia and Josep Comas i Solà high schools, winners of the Barcelona Dades Obertes Challenge Fourth edition_2021, to look for solutions to reduce the level of CO₂ in our atmosphere.
The experience 'Escoltem la natura mitjançant imatges aèries de drons' led students to visit SokoTech, a digital social innovation laboratory in the city of Barcelona, to learn first hand how open data and drones can assist in making informed decisions.
The session began with a video call with Tomàs Molina, ambassador of the European Climate Pact, to talk about the effects of climate change on the environment and global temperatures.
From this introduction and with the help of members of the entire SokoTech team, students analyzed what data might be useful to gather to combat climate change. After sharing opinions, Jaume Figueres, a professor at the UPC and promoter of collaborative cartography through OpenStreet Map, and Albert Teixidor, firefighter of the Generalitat de Catalunya, exposed through a video projects in which open cartographic data are used to search for people and fires caused by lightning. Both also explained the usefulness of the use of drones with thermal cameras in the various functions performed by firefighters, in order to reduce risks and use the available resources in the best possible way.
The students then toured the facilities of SokoTech and Noumena, where they could see the drones and robots used in projects related to open data such as BCN Mapping, where a ROBOT (Land Rover + NERO drone camera) helped measure how it affects vegetation and green areas in the city in reducing levels of warming and pollution, or ROMI, a research project to promote local and sustainable agriculture in which open source robotics tools and programs are developed to help farmers cope with complex planting strategies, among many others.
Finally, there was a demonstration of how to fly a drone by Noumena.
A visit after which all the attendees will have a lot to work with when thinking about the future, because, as Jaume Figueres commented during his presentation «ideas must come from everywhere, the important thing is that no one stay in them».