Public Lab Wiki documentation


"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.


Title Author Updated Likes
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @Zengirl2 7 months ago
Training in odor identification? @Sara 10 months ago
Do you have resources on odor logs and odor reporting platforms? @gretchengehrke about 1 year ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Community-level Odor Mapping Site - - @sarasage - - 0 replications: Try it »
Online Odor Log v1.0 - - @imvec - - 0 replications: Try it »
Odor Log 1.0 - - @imvec - - 0 replications: Try it »
Citizen log v1 - - @imvec - - 0 replications: Try it »

Add an activity  or request an activity

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Research notes

Title Author Updated Likes
Citizen log v1 @imvec 21 days ago
Website for public data @ottinger 26 days ago
Advice for real-time monitoring @ottinger 26 days ago
The fight to get out of Pascagoula @stevie about 2 months ago
Leaflet Environmental Layers Library @sagarpreet 4 months ago
Online Odor Log v1.0 @imvec 6 months ago
Community-level Odor Mapping Site @sarasage 7 months ago
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @Zengirl2 7 months ago
Odor Log 1.0 @imvec 7 months ago
List of electronic nose projects @imvec 7 months ago
Registro de olores @imvec 8 months ago
Training in odor identification? @Sara 10 months ago
"...when the hydrogen sulfide concentration reaches approximately 15 ppm, the human nose becomes desensitized" @warren almost 7 years ago
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