About Smell Vancouver
Smell Vancouver (or SmellVan for short) is a public web application designed to track reports of odours throughout the greater Vancouver area. This app has been developed as part of a UBC research project on odours and their potential health effects. Anyone can submit a report and all reports are anonymous and publicly viewable on the map.
How we maintain your privacy
To protect your privacy, we do not record your unique device identification (UDI) number and each report’s location is slightly skewed when submitted.
How it works
- Reporting a smell
- Go to the submission form and mark your location on the map
- Pick ratings for the strength and offensiveness of the odour - these are the only mandatory questions
- Answer optional questions about the odour - this information will be shown on the public map
- Answer questions about yourself - this information will NOT be shown on the public map
- Click "Submit"
- Note that there is no way to delete an odour report after it has been submitted
- All information you submit will be available to the UBC research team to better understand odours and their effects in greater Vancouver
- Check the map
- Once submitted, odour reports made through the app will appear on the map
- Reports are represented by markers on the map, colour-coded by their ratings
- Clicking on a marker will show details about that report
- Filter reports by rating and date range with the controls above the map
You can also report odours directly to regulators at Metro Vancouver.
How your data will be used
The UBC study team has a mobile air quality monitoring unit that can measure a wide range of air pollutants, including those that cause offensive odours. The team will use reports from the app to identify areas where mobile measurements are needed. The anonymous data may also be used in scientific publications and graduate student theses. We may be required to make the data from this study publicly available, as part of publication and to satisfy funding requirements. Others may use this data set to answer other questions about the relationship between odour and health.
Your data is stored on password-protected and encrypted Compute Canada servers.
Risks and Benefits
Taking part in this study will not necessarily help you directly. However, in the future, others could benefit from what we learn in this study. We do not think there is anything in the study that could harm you or be bad for you. The only mandatory questions are self-reported location and how bothersome the odour is. You do not have to answer any other questions if you do not wish to.
Consent: If you choose to interact with the app or complete survey questions, it will be assumed that you have consented to participate in the research project.
Contact Smell Vancouver
If you have any questions about the study or how your data will be used, please contact the principal investigators Prof. Naomi Zimmerman (UBC Mechanical Engineering), Prof. Amanda Giang (UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability / Mechanical Engineering), or Prof. Sarah Henderson (UBC School of Population and Public Health) at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any concerns or complaints about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, contact the Research Participant Complaint Line in the UBC Office of Research Ethics at +1-604-822-8598 or if long distance e-mail RSIL@ors.ubc.ca or call toll free +1-877-822-8598.
Ethics ID: H20-02665