MobileHCI 2015
Conference paper

Communi sense: Crowdsourcing road hazards in Nairobi

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Nairobi is one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities and a major business and technology powerhouse in Africa. However, Nairobi currently lacks monitoring technologies to obtain reliable data on traffic and road infrastructure conditions. In this paper, we investigate the use of mobile crowdsourcing as means to gather and document Nairobi's road quality information. We first present the key findings of a city-wide road quality survey about the perception of existing road quality conditions in Nairobi. Based on the survey's findings, we then developed a mobile crowdsourcing application, called CommuniSense, to collect road quality data. The application serves as a tool for users to locate, describe, and photograph road hazards. We tested our application through a twoweek field study amongst 30 participants to document various forms of road hazards from different areas in Nairobi. To verify the authenticity of user-contributed reports from our field study, we proposed to use online crowdsourcing using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to verify whether submitted reports indeed depict road hazards. We found 92% of usersubmitted reports to match the MTurkers judgements. While our prototype was designed and tested on a specific city, our methodology is applicable to other developing cities.