Enhancing Whale Watching with Mobile Apps and Streaming Passive Acoustics

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12523)


Whale watching is a prime example of ecotourism services reaching millions of people worldwide. In this paper, we describe a prototype of a mobile application designed to enhance the whale watching experience. Integrating eco-acoustics and entertainment components, the authors designed an App that enhances customer satisfaction even in the case of distant sighing, which helps preserve animal well-being in this growing ecotourism activity. This paper presents the design and preliminary evaluation of the system, which involves many different components, from usability and presence known scales. We asked 12 participants to conduct several activities, including (i) report a sighting, (ii) classify a cetacean vocal call, and (iii) gather a cetacean photo. Because of the system’s novelty, we report on an extensive evaluation framework, including usability and presence scales reported by 12 whale watchers. We discuss the implications of our findings on the design of future applications for ecotourism services.


Whale watching Environmental sustainability Mobile entertainment User experience Ecotourism 



Authors recognize several grants which supported the study: (i) LARGESCALE, #32474 by FCT and PIDDAC; (ii) LARSyS, #UID/ EEA/50009/2019 by FCT; (iii) LARSyS - FCT Plurianual funding 2020-2023, by FCT; (iv) INTERTAGUA, #MAC2/1.1.a /385 by MAC INTERREG 2014-2020; and (v) MITIExcell, #M1420-01-01450FEDER0000002 by RAM.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITI/LARSySFunchalPortugal
  2. 2.Tecnico - University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.University of MadeiraFunchalPortugal

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