Project: Participatory Urban Sensing with Handheld Devices
Nirupama Bulusu (PI)
Collaborators: Jens Mache (Lewis and
Student Contributors: Damon Tyman, Phillip Sitbon,
The next generation of networked sensing applications will monitor the urban world inhabited by people. The sensor data will come from the people themselves, rather than require a dedicated infrastructure. In this paradigm, referred to as “Participatory Urban Sensing” by many prominent researchers including Deborah Estrin and Henri Tirri, ordinary citizens can contribute sensed data gathered via handheld devices and cell phones, and publish it directly on the web using geo-centric web interfaces such as Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth. Potential applications of Participatory Urban Sensing include people collecting detailed air pollution readings of a neighborhood, or live traffic data and publishing such data on the Internet.
Although urban sensing systems are poised to transform many
application domains, currently there exist no educational materials and
teaching strategies that are suitable for use in the activity-based teaching of
students. This proposed project will fill this void by developing and
class-testing a practicum course on participatory and urban sensing at
The project is closely coupled with an NSF-sponsored project on developing activity based laboratory materials for teaching sensor network concepts to undergraduates. With generous equipment donation from Sun Microsystems, we have developed and class-tested programming labs with the Sun Spots during Winter 2008. Student feedback and evaluation were collected using survey forms for each laboratory course and personal interviews conducted by Dr. Jeanitte Palmiter, the educational consultant from January to March 2008.
In this follow-up course, we will teach students how to develop participatory urban sensing applications. We have developed preliminary labs which allow the students how to publish data on the Internet using the SunSpots or the Nokia devices. For the course, the students will develop a course project on participatory and urban sensing with this practicum knowledge.
The resources developed are listed below.