A better picture of our coast

Submit your own photos of the coastline

A day at the beach and at the same time contribute to research on our coast? That is possible thanks to Utrecht University. Coastal researchers Math van Soest and Timothy Price have placed specifically-equiped poles with holders for your smartphone at various places along the coast of the provinces of South and North Holland.

Een CoastSnap-paal op een strand in Nederland

The poles face the sea. You first scan a QR code, place your phone in the holder, then take a photo and the phone sends it to the researchers. There, your photo is automatically processed to determine the location of the current waterline. The result is immediately displayed on your phone. The position of the waterline indicates how wide or narrow a beach is. If only enough people participate in this citizen science project, a detailed picture of the changes in the waterline over time can be created.

The research project is called 'CoastSnap'. It was originally developed by the University of New South Wales (Australia). The idea behind the project is to study the accretion or erosion of our coasts. CoastSnap poles have now been installed in other countries too: some 200 poles spread across 20 countries.


The Utrecht researchers' poles are on the island of Texel (from the dike stairs to Ceres Beach, with a view of the Prins Hendrikzanddijk), on the south side of Egmond-aan-Zee (at the Dr Helleboulevard bicycle shed), near Petten (Panoramaduin, on the north side of the Hondsbossche dunes) and between Noordwijk and Zandvoort (in the Noordvoort beach reserve, near the viewpoint next to the open air theatre).

CoastSnap website: CoastSnap.nl.

Your privacy is guaranteed because, apart from the photograph itself, nothing is sent.