Keywords

crowdsourcing, crowdtasking, mobile observations, participatory sensing

Location

Session A4: Smart and Mobile Devices Used for Environmental Applications

Start Date

18-6-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

18-6-2014 3:20 PM

Abstract

The stellar growth of the smartphones and nearly gapless mobile network coverage in urban and suburban areas has widely extended the potential of the citizens' observatories. The possibility to easily record observations made by mobile citizens, and to automatically enrich this information using the built-in and external sensors sounds like a dream come true of the scientists and decision makers alike. However, in 2013 only a tiny portion of the potential users really participated in the citizen observation programs and the usability of the received information is often below expectations. The learning curve is often too high, sensor quality too low, the societal importance and the added value for the users not easily understood by the end users. Some of these obstacles can be overcome by improving the interaction with the users through crowdtasking and microlearning, others by re-assessing the application design and expectations.

In this paper, we shall present the best practice examples of the mobile observation usage in applications currently available on the market. We shall discuss the scope, potentials, limitations, obstacles, and ethical issues of these applications, compare them with the apps developed by the research community and reason on the best practices and possibilities to further improve the mobile observation apps in the future.

 
Jun 18th, 2:00 PM Jun 18th, 3:20 PM

State and trends in mobile observation applications

Session A4: Smart and Mobile Devices Used for Environmental Applications

The stellar growth of the smartphones and nearly gapless mobile network coverage in urban and suburban areas has widely extended the potential of the citizens' observatories. The possibility to easily record observations made by mobile citizens, and to automatically enrich this information using the built-in and external sensors sounds like a dream come true of the scientists and decision makers alike. However, in 2013 only a tiny portion of the potential users really participated in the citizen observation programs and the usability of the received information is often below expectations. The learning curve is often too high, sensor quality too low, the societal importance and the added value for the users not easily understood by the end users. Some of these obstacles can be overcome by improving the interaction with the users through crowdtasking and microlearning, others by re-assessing the application design and expectations.

In this paper, we shall present the best practice examples of the mobile observation usage in applications currently available on the market. We shall discuss the scope, potentials, limitations, obstacles, and ethical issues of these applications, compare them with the apps developed by the research community and reason on the best practices and possibilities to further improve the mobile observation apps in the future.