In celebration of the National Science and Technology Week #2021NSTW, the Department of Science and Technology – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) kicks off the festivities through the "Kooha: A Social Sensing Network Application (Explore the Koohascape)" webinar.

Kooha which was coined from the Filipino word “kuha” which means to take or capture, is a photo-sharing application that enables real-time participatory photo and sensor data collection using mobile devices. Kooha is an initiative of the DOST-ASTI, developed by Filipino scientists and engineers for the benefit of Filipino citizens. 

The Philippines has always been one of the most active nations online hence Kooha is the perfect app for Filipinos. In fact, the Philippines was even crowned by Time Magazine as the Selfie Capital of the World. So, just imagine your food selfie or a random photo of the sunset can be converted into useful data. One might ask, how can they turn our photos into data? And what kind of data would that be?     

According to Project Leader Roxanne Aviñante, photos captured and shared via Kooha are embedded with data (sound level, light, motion acceleration, gravity, pressure, etc.) collected through built-in phone sensors on the user's device. These data can then be used to draw out insights and generate new knowledge that can be used across sectors. These kinds of information are very useful for our data scientists, researchers, and citizen scientists in generating insights and making decisions on things that are relevant to society.

But how can we benefit from this so-called “Big Data”?

Big Data is defined as an extremely large data set that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. This Big Data is then used to draw out insights and generate new knowledge and technologies that can be used across different applications in various sectors such as transportation, telecommunication, business and industry, policymaking, environment and health, academe, to name a few.

In addition, Kooha also aims to carve out a niche for big data generation using available sensors in smartphones and external sensor devices; develop an online social network of students, enthusiasts, researchers, and citizen scientists built on the concept of sharing and mapping contributions of photographs and sensor data across the globe; empower the general public to contribute to the scientific community; and provide a medium for data scientists, researchers, and citizen scientists to make positive use of big data generated by the Kooha application.

Contribute to science and become a citizen scientist by downloading Kooha! The application is now available for download on Google Play. You can also visit their website at or their Facebook page to know more about the application’s features and to subscribe for their latest updates.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch it here:

The virtual celebration of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week will run from 22-28 November, with its theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon”. Stay updated with the latest news, webinars forums, and more by visiting the website or checking out the Facebook page of NSTW. (By Murvi S. Cua, DOST-STII)

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