PerCom Workshops 2013
Conference paper

Human sensors: Case-study of open-ended community sensing in developing regions

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With the growing number of cities and population, continuous monitoring of city's infrastructure and automated collection of day-to-day events (such as traffic jam) is essential and can help in improving life style of citizens. It is extremely costly and ineffective to install hardware sensors to sense these events in developing regions. Due to advent of smartphones, citizens can play role of sensors and actively participate in collection of the events which can be shared with others for information or can be used in decisions which affects city development. In this paper, we describe an architecture of crowdsensing testbed for capturing and processing events affecting citizens in cities in India. One of the design principle of our testbed is that it encourages users to do an open-ended sensing under five broad categories: Civic complaints, traffic, neighbourhood issues, emergency and others. As part of testbed, we allow events submissions from different submission modes i.e. mobile application, SMSes and web. Our mobile application exploits different sensing interfaces provided by today's smartphones to add contextual data with event reports such as images, audio, fine-grained location etc. Proposed testbed is used by university students across India to report event happening around them. Finally, we describe the data collected and uncover some of challenges and opportunities which may help future designs of crowdsensing based systems. © 2013 IEEE.