Harmful Algal Bloom Reporting App

This application idea is approved by the EPA.

Problem: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Harmful algal blooms are a major environmental problem in all 50 states. Known as red tides, blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, harmful algal blooms have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and the economy.


To develop an application that will make it more convenient and accessible for citizen scientists to report sightings of HABs. The information submitted through the application can be used to display HAB trends in local waterways. Displaying these trends could help raise awareness and influence forecasting and preventive measures implemented by states to reduce impact of HABs on human health.

Challenge: HABs Sighting

To create a mobile application modeled after an HAB report form. This application would allow users to take a picture of HABs and submit a report with specific details of the sighting from the field.

This requirements for this application are modeled after Ohio EPAs Bloom Report Form.


Thanks to the work of the San Francisco Hackathon Team (jimmyhsu, possiblylethal), the foundation of the application has been built out using the Ionic framework with Cordova. More information about the Ionic framework can be found here: http://ionicframework.com/getting-started/

Overview of outstanding tasks needed to be completed for this challenge:

  1. Incorporate Social Login
  2. Integrate with the weather.gov and Water Quality Portal API
  3. Develop out the image detection component
    – Use a library such as Pixastic to allow the user to select the HAB in the image http://www.pixastic.com/lib/docs/actions/crop/ and crop the image before sending it to a library such as Color Thief http://lokeshdhakar.com/projects/color-thief/ so that a color suggestion can be generated.
    – Take the suggested Dominant Color and match it to a generic color from the provided HAB color palette.
  4.  Explore connecting the application to the Socrata Community Data Platform https://communities.socrata.com
  5. Ensure that the application can send a report to a predefined email address and can store report data on the mobile phone without access to the internet.

Additional Documents:

HAB App Challenge Overview (Power Point) (8 pp, 840 K)

HAB App Challenge Documentation v6 (PDF) (9 pp, 707 K, About PDF)

HAB Identification Photos to be used with Challenge #1 (Power Point) (26 pp, 17,120 K)

https://hackpad.com/HAB-Challenge-VgQ20eErr0X Exit (hackpad)

Github Exit

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Rating: 4.6/5 (8 votes cast)
Harmful Algal Bloom Reporting App, 4.6 out of 5 based on 8 ratings

3 thoughts on “Harmful Algal Bloom Reporting App

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  • Monica Peters

    Hi – is this App now functional and available for downloading?

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