WeSense – Social Sensing Urban Environments

Header image: WeSense – Social Sensing Urban Environments

WeSense project makes use of Social Sensing method for data collection, utilizing smartphone app to obtain dynamic data about citizens’ perception. An IOS app entitled WeSense has been built and is available in the iTunes store for installation on I-phones and I-pads. After filling in a one-time questionnaire, users are ‘bumped’ at various times of the day and asked to fill in a set of questions and to take a PHOTO of their environment. They may also use fill in the questionnaire in their own time on a particular spot. The locations of responses are located using GPS, allowing for the building of geographic data and visualizations. The data is stored anonymously and securely in a data bank. Dynamic maps and charts are displayed on a website (www.wesense.info).

The project aims to:

  • Contribute to the scientific knowledge base on environmental perception related to landscape architecture and urban planning;
  • Improve the insights of administrations into citizen perception, use, and valuing of public urban spaces for policy making and planning of public space;
  • Provide a platform for citizen and stakeholder interaction to enhance public involvement in urban space related issues.

Collected data and dynamic maps will provide a valuable contribution to research on urban space perception. Societal benefits of the research include contributions to better planning, design, and management of urban public spaces, as spatial decision-making is still largely based on expert-based interpretations of existing situations and future needs. Data on perception of urban environments can also input into policy on health, lifestyles and social services.

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