Ice Watch is a program coordinating routine visual observations of sea-ice, including icebergs and meteorological parameters. The program has already collected over 5,600 records from numerous ship voyages and is complementary to the Antarctic platform ASPeCt. Photographic records of observations, a critical piece of information for operations and research, are often missing. The mobile phones in nearly everybody’s pocket now feature high-quality cameras, capable of recording ancillary timing and positional information. We will develop the IceWatchApp to aid users in supplementing observations with photographs, and to dramatically increase the reach and ease of submitting data to Ice Watch.
The application will be developed in collaboration with the Polar Citizen Science Collective, who have successfully implemented similar observation projects within atmospheric science and marine biology. The image database will aid in the training of machine learning algorithms for automatic sea ice type detection, provide valuable additional data for ice chart production and add value to satellite data from the Copernicus Sentinels.