Usability and Interaction Dimensions of Participatory Noise and Ecological Monitoring

  • Charlene JennettEmail author
  • Eleonora Cognetti
  • Joanne Summerfield
  • Muki Haklay
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


The integration of sensors in smartphones has transformed personal mobile phones, from tools primarily meant for communication purposes, into instruments that can sense or collect information about the surrounding environment (Lane et al. 2010). There are several mobile apps that allow ordinary members of the public (non-professionals) to collect fine-grained data about their environment and to contribute to real research. By involving citizens in environmental monitoring activities this helps to raise their awareness of environmental issues (Becker et al. 2013). However there are also challenges in the use of such apps. The lower-end sensors for mobile phones do not give the same level of data accuracy as specialised devices. The data is being collected by ‘inexpert’ citizens, which may add to perceptions of the data being inaccurate. Also, in order to apply complex statistical models, the data needs to be collected in mass quantities. This raises two questions about the citizens involved: (1) what is their experience of using the app and (2) what factors motivate them to participate?



This research was funded by the EU FP7 projects Citizen Cyberlab (Grant agreement 317705) and the Everyaware project (Grant Agreement 265432). We would like to thank all of the participants that took part in our research studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlene Jennett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eleonora Cognetti
    • 1
  • Joanne Summerfield
    • 1
  • Muki Haklay
    • 1
  1. 1.UCL Interaction CentreUniversity College London (UCL)LondonUK

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