A Platform for Location Based App Development for Citizen Science and Community Mapping

  • Claire EllulEmail author
  • Suneeta Gupta
  • Mordechai Muki Haklay
  • Kevin Bryson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Community Mapping and Citizen Science involve members of the public in projects to address real-world problems such as noise pollution, air pollution or large-scale development in their neighbourhood. Many of these are inherently location-based and maps provide a powerful tool for engagement. Most importantly, they can be tailor-made to display information required by the drivers of these projects—different groups of people with different interests. Previous Community Mapping and Citizen Science projects allowed the public to capture data for use on such maps via web based systems. However, mobile devices offer additional means of data capture and their in-built sensing devices (microphone, accelerometer, GPS) allow participants to work with additional types of information not available on web-based systems. Although many such Applications (Apps) exist, our experience with community groups shows that flexibility is key—the groups themselves must be able to decide what information they are interested in. While it is possible to meet this need by developing a bespoke App for each group, many of the group members involved in such projects are not programmers and do not have funding for bespoke development. This paper describes the development of a location based services App platform for Community Mapping and Citizen Science. The platform allows an unlimited number of bespoke Apps to be created by a non-technical administrator, without the need for programming skills.


Citizen science LBS apps Community mapping Non-technical users 



The authors would like to thank Dr Jerome Lewis from the Extreme Citizen Science Group at University College London, Louise Francis from Mapping for Change and David Jeevendram pillai from the Department of Anthropology at University College London, for their input into the requirements definition processes for the platform.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Ellul
    • 1
    Email author
  • Suneeta Gupta
    • 2
  • Mordechai Muki Haklay
    • 1
  • Kevin Bryson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic EngineeringUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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