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Odor Logging

637 views | Last edited by liz about 1 month ago | #15794

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"The most accessible and sophisticated environmental monitoring equipment is made available to most humans in the forms of noses, eyes, tongues, ears and skin". Sara Sage.

This page collects resources to keep track of bad odor events for further investigating their origin and their potential effects on people. The presence of bad odor events usually means the presence of hydrogen sulfide, methane and other dangerous gases. Keeping track of them and investigating their origin is important for health and safety.

Odor Log 1.0

You can use the Odor Log 1.0 to keep track of the events just using paper, pen and your nose. Use these steps as guidance:

  • Download a printable log
  • Coordinate with some neighbours to simultaneously track the bad odor events in different points of your neighbourhood/town.
  • Decide the length of the monitoring. Take at least a 2 week long record if the events are on a daily basis. If events are for example, once a week, consider taking a longer log.
  • Note on the log every day even if there's no bad odor event.
  • Take a picture of every page of your log pages or scan them.
  • Then send the files with the results to your local authorities, perhaps with carbon copies to some newspapers and the EPA or the environmental authority in your state or country. Doing this, a record of your public complaint will be kept in several entities and mail servers.

Using the Odor Log 1.0 you can go from an undefined "there are lots of bad odor events in my area" to a documented "we've counted xxxx number of bad odor events located in A, B, C, and D places"...

Online Odor Log 1.0

Based on the Odor Log 1.0 you can follow the same protocol (coordinate - decide - monitor) using the Online Odor Log v1.0 developed using the Free Open Source software Ushahidi for real time reporting, and share bad odor events in your area.

Visit the map and explore collected data at

Adding a launcher to your phone

You can also create an Android or iOS launcher for your mobile phone. Just visit the survey url and bookmark it using Chrome or Safari. Click on "add to home screen" or " create launcher". You'll get a new launcher on your phone so you'll be able to report an event in your area just with one click.


Documents and manuals about odor detection, identification and monitoring can be found on many sites on the web. Please feel free to add your findings.


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Research notes

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
How can I start a project on environmental air quality around crop dusting areas @lubcarreon 4 months ago 7
How to Describe Odors Using FIDO, illustrated by Sara Sage @joyofsoy 5 months ago 2
How to Use a Transect, illustrated by Sara Sage @joyofsoy 5 months ago 2
Taking Action: Odors in Court @joyofsoy 5 months ago 2
Putting Odor Issues on the Map: Using citizen science to curb odors in the EU @joyofsoy 5 months ago 1
Novel Methods for Assessing Industrial Odors @joyofsoy 5 months ago 1
Are there any charts useful for describing the way pollutants smell? @stevie 10 months ago 2
Building a case against Aluf Plastics -- polluting my town & I need help @michaelwma 11 months ago 9
Has odor ever been used against an industry in court? @stevie 12 months ago 3
Citizen log v1 @imvec about 1 year ago 4
Website for public data @ottinger about 1 year ago 0
Advice for real-time monitoring @ottinger about 1 year ago 0
The fight to get out of Pascagoula @stevie over 1 year ago 6
Leaflet Environmental Layers Library @sagarpreet over 1 year ago 23
Online Odor Log v1.0 @imvec over 1 year ago 19
Community-level Odor Mapping Site @sarasage over 1 year ago 6
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @zengirl2 over 1 year ago 9
Odor Log 1.0 @imvec over 1 year ago 0
List of electronic nose projects @imvec over 1 year ago 3
Registro de olores @imvec almost 2 years ago 0
Training in odor identification? @sara almost 2 years ago 1
"...when the hydrogen sulfide concentration reaches approximately 15 ppm, the human nose becomes desensitized" @warren about 8 years ago 1
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