Usability and Interaction Dimensions of Participatory Noise and Ecological Monitoring
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.
- Becker, M., Caminiti, S., Fiorella, D., Francis, L., Gravino, P., Haklay, M., Hotho, A., Loreto, V., Mueller, J., Ricchiuti, F., Servedio, V.D.P., Sirbu, A., Tria, F.: Awareness and learning in participatory noise sensing. PLoS One 8(12), e81638 (2013). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081638 ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- D’Hont, E., Stevens, M., Jacobs, A.: Participatory noise mapping works! An evaluation of participatory sensing as an alternative to standard techniques for environmental monitoring. Pervasive Mob. Comput. 9(5), 681–694 (2012)Google Scholar
- European Commission: Green Paper on Future Noise. (COM(96) 540) (1996)Google Scholar
- European Parliament and Council Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise, Official Journal of the European Communities, L 189, pp. 12–26 (2002)Google Scholar
- Fogg, B.J.: A behavior model for persuasive design. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, Apr 26, 2009–Apr 29, 2009 Claremont, USA (article 40) (2009)Google Scholar
- Rotman, D., Preece, J., Hammock, J.: Dynamic changes in motivation in collaborative citizen-science projects. In: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, February 2012, ACM, pp. 217–227 (2012)Google Scholar
- Stevens, M.: Community memories for sustainable societies: the case of environmental noise. Doctoral Dissertation, Vrije Universitetit Brussel (2012)Google Scholar