Citizen science for pedestrian cartography: collection and moderation of walkable routes in cities through mobile gamification

Ippokratis Kapenekakis, Konstantinos Chorianopoulos
2017 Human-Centric Computing and Information Sciences  
The visibility of walkable routes in geographical maps is strongly associated with better well-being and higher quality of life in cities [1, 2] . Pedestrians usually employ mapping and navigation applications (Apps) on their smart phones in order to identify and follow walkable paths in cities. In this way, digital maps can be regarded as an important user interface for understanding and navigating the city. Even though modern digital maps illustrate the real world in elaborate detail, they
more » ... ate detail, they put emphasis on motor cars. Therefore, digital maps usually have a dominant aesthetic that serves navigation for motor drivers and makes all the maps to look the same [3] . Navigation Apps offer an option for Abstract Digital geographical maps can be regarded as a user interface for understanding and navigating the city. Nevertheless, contemporary digital maps over-emphasize the needs of motor vehicles. Pedestrian routes have only been considered as an addon option in existing digital maps and the respective data collection has not been performed in the field. In this article, we present a mobile application that employs gamification as a means to engage users to collect pragmatic data about walkable routes, which are then processed with the goal of creating a new kind of pedestrianfriendly cartography. Besides the technical infrastructure for collecting and filtering the route traces, the main challenge in user-generated walkable routes is the identification of malicious data, which should be rejected, as well as the rewarding of constructive behavior through peer-review. For this purpose, the mobile application employs a point system in order to identify and discourage the submission of bad routes. A longitudinal (2-months) field study of the mobile application confirmed that gamification facilitates effective data collection for producing pedestrian cartography even with few users and demonstrated that gamification infuses a shared responsibly about the quality of data collection. The visualization of the pedestrian-generated data on a map required a partially manual process, thus, further research should explore the gamification of the data visualization part, too. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
doi:10.1186/s13673-017-0090-9 fatcat:mpsjbargjjel7kzirkri3ixd6a