Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 599–607 | Cite as

MobGeoSen: facilitating personal geosensor data collection and visualization using mobile phones

  • Eiman KanjoEmail author
  • Steve Benford
  • Mark Paxton
  • Alan Chamberlain
  • Danae Stanton Fraser
  • Dawn Woodgate
  • David Crellin
  • Adrain Woolard
Original Article


Mobile sensing and mapping applications are becoming more prevalent because sensing hardware is becoming more portable and more affordable. However, most of the hardware uses small numbers of fixed sensors that report and share multiple sets of environmental data which raises privacy concerns. Instead, these systems can be decentralized and managed by individuals in their public and private spaces. This paper describes a robust system called MobGeoSens which enables individuals to monitor their local environment (e.g. pollution and temperature) and their private spaces (e.g. activities and health) by using mobile phones in their day to day life. The MobGeoSen is a combination of software components that facilitates the phone’s internal sensing devices (e.g. microphone and camera) and external wireless sensors (e.g. data loggers and GPS receivers) for data collection. It also adds a new dimension of spatial localization to the data collection process and provides the user with both textual and spatial cartographic displays. While collecting the data, individuals can interactively add annotations and photos which are automatically added and integrated in the visualization file/log. This makes it easy to visualize the data, photos and annotations on a spatial and temporal visualization tool. In addition, the paper will present ways in which mobile phones can be used as noise sensors using an on-device microphone. Finally, we present our experiences with school children using the above mentioned system to measure their exposure to environmental pollution.


Environmental monitoring Mobile computing GPS positioning 



This work is a result of two funded projects: the mobile phone and the sensors project, funded by JISC. The PARTICIPATE research project is a collaboration between the universities of Nottingham and Bath, industrial partners, Science Scope, BBC, BT, Microsoft Research and Blast Theory. It is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eiman Kanjo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steve Benford
    • 1
  • Mark Paxton
    • 1
  • Alan Chamberlain
    • 1
  • Danae Stanton Fraser
    • 2
  • Dawn Woodgate
    • 2
  • David Crellin
    • 3
  • Adrain Woolard
    • 4
  1. 1.Mixed Reality Laboratory, School of Computer Science and ITUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BathBathUK
  3. 3.Abington PartnersBathUK
  4. 4.BBC Creative R&D, New Media and TechnologyLondonUK

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