Introducing Propagation Labs and the Snow Scope app

We are beyond excited to announce our new partnership with Propagation Labs and to promote their Snow Scope app to our snow observers community. We have listened to you – fellow CSO participants – and with the retirement of the ‘Mountain Hub’ app this fall, it was an easy decision for our team to engage with this exciting new company who’s developed a fantastic app that facilitates data recording and sharing in the backcountry. Our team can’t wait for snowflakes to fall to head into the mountains and start using Snow Scope (available in Apple App Store, for Google Play App Store).

Photos: Propagation Labs

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details about Snow Scope and get to know the guys behind Propagation Labs. We had the opportunity to chat with them just before they released the up-dated version of the app earlier this week, that has several new useful features, one of which is the shortcut option to submitting snow height observations.

Hey guys, tell us and the CSO community a little bit about the company and your products.

Propagations Labs is a small company, or maybe more accurately, a passion project aiming to improve  snow measurement techniques. We are trying to accomplish that goal with two products: The Snow Scope Probe and App. The [Snow Scope Probe] is a “smart” probe that will generate a digital snow hardness profile in seconds without any of the biases of a hand hardness measurement. The Snow Scope App allows you to view, annotate, and share these profiles as well as create manual hand hardness profiles and snow height observations (more on that later). Check out our website for more info.

Our goal is to augment traditional methods with modern engineering to provide higher quality snowpack data, faster data collection times, and deeper analysis capabilities. 

Joe & Garrett, Propagation Labs

There is not much there when you pull back the curtain at Propagation Labs. We, Joe and Garrett,  are a couple of skier-engineers designing and building the Snow Scope Probe and App out of our garages and home offices with the help of our family and friends. Garrett is a mechanical and mobile engineer with experience in the outdoor industry, designing everything from climbing protection to avalanche airbags. Joe is an electrical and software engineer with experience in robotics and aerospace. We are both avid backcountry skiers in the  Wasatch Mountains just outside our home-base of Salt Lake City, Utah. 
For more info check out our About Us page

Tell us about the new quick option to submit ‘Snowpack Height’ in the Snow Scope app.

We have added a special new feature to the Snow Scope app just for CSO Snowpack Height observations. After logging into the app, it takes just three clicks to submit an observation. The app will automatically link your phone’s time and location to your snowpack height observations, even if you don’t have service. Once you are back in service, it will sync all of your observations to the cloud where scientists can access them!

Check out this 10 second video tutorial:

Video: Propagation Labs

Here are step-by-step instructions for submitting a snow height measurement:

Can you submit manual snow pit profiles in the field using the Snow Scope app?

Yes! One of the things we are most excited about this year is the introduction of our Snow Profile Recorder feature in the app. Previously, our app was only used to view profiles generated by the Snow Scope Probe. That changes this year as the Snow Profile Recorder allows users to submit manual snow profiles using hand hardness measurements, grain size and type observations, stability test results, and more!

Thanks guys for describing all the neat features in the Snow Scope app. Let’s chat a bit about our partnership – why did you decide to partner with CSO?

Partnering with CSO was a no-brainer! CSO and Propagation Labs share the same mission: understand snow better. To accomplish this mission we both recognize the need for snow data as a prerequisite for snow science and hydrology. We build tools to collect snowpack data and CSO builds communities to collect data. Our relationship with CSO is mutually beneficial as they drive meaningful traffic to our products, and we provide their citizen scientists a better way to submit observations, both of which will benefit the scientific communities and eventually the general public.

We build tools to collect snowpack data and CSO builds communities to collect data.

– Propagation labs

What are you most excited about regarding the new partnership with CSO?

There are a lot of exciting pieces of our partnership with CSO, but I think we are most excited to see what CSO’s extensive network of scientists can do with our data. Our main goal was always to further the science of snow and avalanches, and we believe the exposure and increase in snow data will have widespread impact in the scientific community and beyond.

The up-track is where the science happens. Photo: Propagation Labs

Now tell us a bit about your objectives for the winter – both business and personal!

For Propagation Labs, we are excited to get our tools in the hands of many more users this winter.  We’ve spent the last few seasons learning from our community of snow professionals, and built that feedback into what we think are great products for snow data collection. This year, we are ready to push the Snow Scope Probe and App to a larger audience, and begin to build a larger dataset of snowpack information!  We are hoping our partnership with CSO will help spread the word and create more data for science! 

Personally, we’re looking forward to exploring more “off the beaten path” ranges in the west on our skis, and Garrett is really keen on trying to use Joe’s new pilot’s license to facilitate a few ski adventures.

Life is good in the mountains. Photos: Propagation Labs

What’s now for you to do? Download the app to your phone and get familiar with the content before the snow flies! Let us know if you have any trouble or concerns about Snow Scope, or if you’re just as excited as we are.

Snow Scope for iPhone.

Snow Scope for Android.

Leave a Reply