Enhancing Environmental Awareness Using Geospatial Mobile Technologies Hanif Rahemtulla, Muki Haklay, Paul Longley and Cla...
Presentation Outline <ul><li>Research context  </li></ul><ul><li>London 21 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile SMS: EcoTEXT </li></ul...
Environmental Change <ul><li>The Global Environment  </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda 21  </li></ul><ul><li>“…  without their part...
UK Government Initiative  <ul><li>Communities in control, real people, real power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increase local peo...
UK Government Initiatives  Communicate information to people and organizations having different specific concerns, as well...
Web Based Mapping <ul><li>Authoritative Mapping  </li></ul><ul><li>GIS </li></ul><ul><li>Geospatial Web </li></ul><ul><ul>...
The Geospatial Web  <ul><li>Enhancing meaningful communication (Keen 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to engagement  </li>...
London 21: An Environmental Network Organisation Community-based organisations in London “ Although direct impacts of most...
London 21: Networking, Motivating and Supporting
London 21: London Sustainability Weeks <ul><ul><li>The festival symbolises the extraordinary influence that a grass-roots ...
London 21: The Role of NICTs
Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities
Geospatial Mobile Technologies <ul><li>The UK mobile market </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile (Geospatial) Services/Apps </li></ul>...
Participatory Design
EcoTEXT <ul><li>A locally based and locally driven information and communication system. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographically ...
EcoTEXT: Registration
EcoTEXT: Automation <ul><ul><li>Automated service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Events checked every day </li></ul></ul><...
EcoTEXT: SMS Message
Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>Exploratory Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LSW 2007 -  48 individuals subscr...
Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>User adoption  </li></ul><ul><li>Positive user experience </li></ul><ul><li...
Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>EcoTEXT increased levels of civic engagement, with: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><...
Further work …  <ul><li>Further Work (1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other types of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A...
<ul><ul><li>Work with other third-sector users of the service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EcoMessage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Conclusions <ul><li>Public participation  </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Apps / Services </li></ul><ul><li>Constellation of serv...
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5B_2_Enhancing environmental awareness using geospatial mobile technologies

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  • In terms of presentation outline presenting a piece of research that we have been conducting in collaboration with London 21 (an environmental grassroots organisations) on the development of a mobile spatial messaging service known as EcoTEXT to enhance environmental awareness across the capital. DONE.
  • Since the inception of the environmental movement of the mid 1960’s there is growing acknowledgment that the global environment is no longer a matter solely for the heads of state and government. Many global problems are based on people’s habits and lifestyles which cannot be changed through national strategies, plans, policies and procedures. The public have a critical role to play in initiating change at this level by contributing ideas and spreading knowledge and involvement. Indeed, ‘without their participation, it is difficult to see how the objectives of Agenda 21 could be reached at all’ (UN 2008 p.1). Recently, Prof. McGlade (2008), Head of the European Environment Agency, called on the need to support the public as well as develop mechanisms that will allow them to play a more active role in the pursuit towards sustainability.
  • Mobile phones are an example of a New Information and Communication Technology (NICT) which may overcome issues to digital engagement while extending access to information currently held in Geospatial Web-based applications (see Ellul et al . 2009b). The UK has one of the highest levels of mobile phone ownership in Europe (OfCom 2007). Further, data-driven mobile phone services are seen as part of a wider toolkit by which to engage, interact and empower communities (Katz and Aspden 1998). As Olsen (1999) notes, such services will allow individuals and communities to interact with people and information in a myriad of ways.
  • (1) East London and the Thames Gateway are facing huge and accelerating changes. This region has been marked as focal to achieving the governments target to construct 120,000 new homes by 2016. (2) Now, Regeneration projects of this kind are often classed as oppositional and one of the reasons for this might be due to lack of transparency, a lack of understanding the potential impacts of given proposals on communities, and the lack of confidence in those said communities in terms of making their views heard. (3) As such, If local people are to engage effectively with the processes of change they need to know what is going on, to understand how proposed changes may effect them and feel confident to play a positive role in those changes. Currently communities face change in their areas with limited means to assess and influence decision making processes. Many people feel excluded and alienated from those changes that are going on, and if they do get involved they report discussions are too technical and time-consuming. This leads to a situation where some stake-holders are missing from project discussions. The challenge therefore ‘is to try to communicate information to people and organizations having different specific concerns, as well as encouraging them to gather and exchange knowledge, and hence participate more in the environmental debate’ (Sieber 2007, p.1). DONE.
  • Opening: Web based mapping have long been seen as an important part of this information dissemination process, as well as being a tool to encourage participation in local decision making. A Mapping: However, eGovernment solutions such as authoritative Web mapping predominantly offer one-way communication from government to the public and do not include effective means to collect citizen feedback. GIS: Traditional Geomatics has been promoted as a means to engage members of the civil society in policy making, although Geomatics has been found to both empower and marginalize (usually simultaneously) those publics. The emergence of new mechanisms such as the Geospatial Web (or Geoweb) has the potential to address current challenges and build upon current PPGIS/PGIS practice facilitating two-way dialogue between government officials and the public This opens up many new possibilities for communicating and engaging the public on some of the crucial issues of our time, such as global environmental change For example, digital map platforms such as Google Maps, Platial and Microsoft Live Search allow users to view, share, and contribute user-generated content and volunteered geographic information in an interactive and informative way (Goodchild 2007).
  • However, while the Geospatial Web provides a rich tapestry of information considerable skepticism remains regarding its use as a mechanism to enhance meaningful communication amongst stakeholders (Keen 2007). This arises, at least in part, as the Geospatial Web reinforces and extends existing barriers to ICT engagement. As Ellul et al. (2009a) notes, to access the full functionality of digital map platforms, Internet users require a high bandwidth connection and an implied level of spatial and digital literacy. From a UK perspective Changing Media (2007) estimate that 2.7 million households have narrowband access to the Internet. Further, Skarlatidou and Haklay (2006) and Nivala (2008) have shown that the success rate in operating and navigating even simple public mapping sites is limited to between 60 and 80 percent. However, the skills and knowledge required to operate a Web GIS are more complex. For GIS professionals concepts such layers (and switching them on and off), zooming in and out of a map, panning and clicking on the map to identify further information about an object form part of every-day language. However, these concepts are not necessarily well understood by the general public. Mechanism needs to be Timely Cheap Automated Relevant Easy to use and understand Reach a larger number of people Other Methods of Communication E-mail (61%) Paper maps Flyers Television Mobile Phones Fixed-line Phones This paper presents the background to, and description of, a geospatial mobile service (EcoTEXT) designed for an environmental organization (London 21) to further the dissemination of information held in community-driven geospatial web-based services and increase environmental awareness and community engagement. Mobile phones are an example of a New Information and Communication Technology (NICT) which may overcome issues to digital engagement while extending access to information currently held in Geospatial Web-based applications (see Ellul et al . 2009b). The UK has one of the highest levels of mobile phone ownership in Europe (OfCom 2007). Further, data-driven mobile phone services are seen as part of a wider toolkit by which to engage, interact and empower communities (Katz and Aspden 1998). As Olsen (1999) notes, such services will allow individuals and communities to interact with people and information in a myriad of ways.
  • London 21 London 21 is an umbrella environmental organisation that works across the public, private and voluntary sectors between different communities and all faiths with the objective of encouraging London’s grassroots and community-based organisations that are working towards sustainability to promote themselves and network London-wide for a greener, cleaner and more equitable London.
  • Today, London 21 has links to over 1500 active grassroots and community-based organizations (London 21 2008). The scale of the network is a testament to the accomplishments of London 21, both in terms of its contribution to capacity building and networking . For instance, London 21 has developed co-ordination mechanisms that support cohesive action and provides a range of services, including training and networking events tailored to local demands and conditions. One example is the London Sustainability Weeks (LSW) (Figure 1).
  • Figure 1. The LSW are held during the first two weeks of June to coincide with World Environment Week. It provides over half a million of London’s residents, workers and visitors with the opportunity to discover and experience the diversity and creativity of the hundreds of initiatives, projects and organisations occurring throughout London that are making a real contribution to a more sustainable capital (London 21 2007).
  • As is typical of many such organisations, London 21 is built on its diversity and channels of communication. The provision of information through NICTs is at the heart of the organisations strategy to promote, network and support grassroots and community-based organisations in London. To date, London 21 has commissioned the development of several community-driven geospatial web-based services including the London Green Map, Love London and Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities (see Table 1). An online interactive map for Londoners that highlights over 1200 community projects and services for sustainable living. The aim is to make available in visual, attractive form local information to help people live in a greener, healthier way, with a particular emphasis on the creativity of community action. The types of projects included on the map includes: farmers’ markets, children’s playgrounds, community groups and event, local charities, skills and training opportunities, theatre workshops, and recycling centres.
  • An online interactive GIS-based map of East London, the Lower Lea Valley and the Thames Gateway (Figure 5.7). The Map site is based on the existing London Green Map, and provides two main interfaces for users– an overview map of the East London and the Thames Gateway and a series of community maps within this region providing users with access to detailed information about their local area. The Map also provides a virtual environment in which communities can record new significant developments in their areas as well as highlight development sites, environmental issues and projects, local issues and stakeholder groups. IDE: Members of the MCSC team initially worked with four London-based communities to establish local websites (Royal Docks, Thames Ward, Hackney Wick and Archway). These were developed with a standard set of themes – namely large projects (major planning applications), our data (community data), events (such as fairs, cycles, days and meetings) and organisations (charities, recycling, facilitates, community groups). Mapping change for sustainable communities is one of a suite of projects funded under the UrbanBuzz sustainable communities programme. The Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities (MCSC) project, conducted by UCL in partnership with London 21 (a London-based network of community groups), The main aim of MCSC is to use community mapping as way to enable communities facing big changes to understand what’s going-on on their doorsteps, to improve the accessibility of information, and to empower communities to express their own issues and concerns within a framework that facilitates active involvement. Development of a web-based map to provide communities with information about what is happening locally. Information includes for example, local organisations, events and meetings, as well as upcoming large development projects and other topics relating to local planning issues, local history and issues such as noise pollution. The map aim to act as a “one-stop shop” for local information, maintained by the community for the community. In developing these community maps, the team engaged with the community However, does Web GIS: Promote local democracy? Involve ALL local people in key decisions? Our recent work on Community Mapping would suggest otherwise Aim was to develop Web-GIS to: Provide communities with information about what is happening locally Allow them to monitor and participate in change in their area Maps act as a ‘one-stop shop’ Maintained by the community for the community WebGIS can also be used as a tool to encourage public participation and capture Voluntary Geographic Information Report graffiti of fly-tipping in your area Objections to planning applications Upload photos of an area Community Mapping Local Events relating to environmental or sustainability issues are of particular interest
  • The role of mobile devices as a generic tool in our everyday life has grown (Hakkila and Mantyjarui, 2005). In the past decade, society has witnessed the evolution of mobile systems from portable phones meant solely for voice communications to devices which allow us to receive information. One example is Location Based Services (LBS). This is widely publicised as the next generation of mobile services providing consumers with information based on their location. From a UK perspective, a report by OfCom (2006), shows that 93 percent of UK adults own or have access to a mobile phone. The UK has one of the highest levels of mobile ownership in Europe. However, the main challenges facing researchers and developers is to determine what types of LBS applications lend themselves to mobile tasks, how to design and implement systems on mobile devices, how these systems fit with the strategic goals of the organization, and how consumers will use these systems to access information and complete transactions. Furthermore, mobile services also bring many difficulties to users who are expected to manage the ever increasing information push (Sun 2003). There is therefore a need to use filters – geographic and semantic – to ensure that only relevant information is passed to the user (see Mountain and Farlane 2007 for further discussion).
  • EcoTEXT is an example of a locally based and locally driven information and communication system. This service allows individuals to receive geographically targeted, action-orientated, time-relevant information via text messages on their mobile phones. The content of the service is information about upcoming local environmental events and activities, which match the interests to the user, when these events occur in close spatial proximity to where that user resides (Figure 2). This type of service represents a powerful new dimension for the provision of data-driven services in comparison to current text-based services; relating location to information and giving the service additional meaning and value (see Rahemtulla et al ., 2008). Sends Information about local Events to subscribers Events can be related to themes such as: Education Sustainability Health Green space and Conservation Events are volunteered by the hosting organisations and groups: Added to the London Green Map Added to any of the Community Maps
  • Users register for the system On the phone Online Makes use of the UK postcode dataset to allow users to geo-code their location (home or work) Users can then set preferences as to the type of event they are interested in hearing about Remind me
  • How EcoText Works (3) Automated service Events checked every day These are then compared against each user’s preferences Text messages generated and sent automatically Message Content automatically limited to 160 characters
  • For each exploratory study, the service was subscribed to by individuals characterised as ‘early adopters’ of technology. This can be explained by the technology adoption and diffusion patterns within communities and the strategy of introduction which was followed. While these early adopters are by no means representative of the general population they are by far the most important segment since the mass market copies their behaviour and product usage (see DeMarez and Verleye 2001). Therefore their perceptions towards and experiences of this service are relevant as they have an important ‘opinion leader-role’ to play towards the rest of the market. The exploratory studies reveal that early adopters to the service had a positive experience of EcoTEXT in terms of its usability, practically and usefulness. More importantly, early adopters found that the service fulfilled a real purpose and function which as Rogers (1995) notes, is essential; for if there is no reason to use the technology it will be quickly discarded as irrelevant. The positive experiences of early adopters will lay the foundation upon which to bring the mass market on board – crossing the chasm between the early adopters and early majority (see Rogers 1995). Outcomes (2) Reasons for participation: Being updated and/or informed about local events (44 percent) Using mobile technology (31 percent) Free trial to use the service (15 percent) Satisfying a general interest (10 percent).
  • REFELECTIVE
  • Notification of meetings of local faith groups, churches, history groups, charity events and other similar organizations Notification of meetings of local faith groups, churches, history groups, charity events and other similar organizations Notification of meetings of local faith groups, churches, history groups, charity events and other similar organizations
  • The role of mobile devices as a generic tool in our everyday life has grown (Hakkila and Mantyjarui, 2005). In the past decade, society has witnessed the evolution of mobile systems from portable phones meant solely for voice communications to devices which allow us to receive information. One example is Location Based Services (LBS). This is widely publicised as the next generation of mobile services providing consumers with information based on their location. From a UK perspective, a report by OfCom (2006), shows that 93 percent of UK adults own or have access to a mobile phone. The UK has one of the highest levels of mobile ownership in Europe. However, the main challenges facing researchers and developers is to determine what types of LBS applications lend themselves to mobile tasks, how to design and implement systems on mobile devices, how these systems fit with the strategic goals of the organization, and how consumers will use these systems to access information and complete transactions. Furthermore, mobile services also bring many difficulties to users who are expected to manage the ever increasing information push (Sun 2003). There is therefore a need to use filters – geographic and semantic – to ensure that only relevant information is passed to the user (see Mountain and Farlane 2007 for further discussion).
  • 5B_2_Enhancing environmental awareness using geospatial mobile technologies

    1. 1. Enhancing Environmental Awareness Using Geospatial Mobile Technologies Hanif Rahemtulla, Muki Haklay, Paul Longley and Claire Ellul Department of Geography and Department of Civil Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, UCL Louise Francis London Sustainability Network
    2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Research context </li></ul><ul><li>London 21 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile SMS: EcoTEXT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community participation and engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Further research </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Environmental Change <ul><li>The Global Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda 21 </li></ul><ul><li>“… without their participation, it is difficult to see how the objectives of Agenda 21 could be reached at all” (UN, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>European Environment Agency </li></ul><ul><li>“… support the public as well as develop mechanisms that will allow them to play a more active role in the pursuit towards sustainability” (McGlade, 2008) </li></ul>
    4. 4. UK Government Initiative <ul><li>Communities in control, real people, real power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increase local people in key decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase the power of residents to influence change in their area through community participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stressing the importance of access to information </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. UK Government Initiatives Communicate information to people and organizations having different specific concerns, as well as encouraging them to gather and exchange knowledge, and hence participate more in the environmental debate
    6. 6. Web Based Mapping <ul><li>Authoritative Mapping </li></ul><ul><li>GIS </li></ul><ul><li>Geospatial Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Map Platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Maps, Bing Maps and Microsoft Live Search </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UGC and VGI in an interactive and informative way (Goodchild 2007) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. The Geospatial Web <ul><li>Enhancing meaningful communication (Keen 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access and spatial literacy (Ellul et al . 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extending access </li></ul>
    8. 8. London 21: An Environmental Network Organisation Community-based organisations in London “ Although direct impacts of most local projects are restricted, their collective impact on national targets is increasingly significant”
    9. 9. London 21: Networking, Motivating and Supporting
    10. 10. London 21: London Sustainability Weeks <ul><ul><li>The festival symbolises the extraordinary influence that a grass-roots network organisation can wield in raising awareness of sustainable activities </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. London 21: The Role of NICTs
    12. 12. Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities
    13. 13. Geospatial Mobile Technologies <ul><li>The UK mobile market </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile (Geospatial) Services/Apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine what types of LBS applications lend themselves to mobile tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>design and implement systems on mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how these systems fit with the strategic goals of the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how consumers will use these systems to access information and complete transactions. </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Participatory Design
    15. 15. EcoTEXT <ul><li>A locally based and locally driven information and communication system. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographically targeted, action-orientated, time-relevant information via text messages on their mobile phones. </li></ul><ul><li>Local Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>London Green Map, Love London and MCSC </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. EcoTEXT: Registration
    17. 17. EcoTEXT: Automation <ul><ul><li>Automated service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Events checked every day </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These are then compared against each user’s preferences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Text messages generated and sent automatically </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Message Content automatically limited to 160 characters </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. EcoTEXT: SMS Message
    19. 19. Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>Exploratory Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LSW 2007 - 48 individuals subscribed to the service with 38 receiving at least one or more messages. In total, 198 text messages were sent over the duration of the study which lasted one month from June to July 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MCSC 2008 - June 2008 - For this study, 5 individuals subscribed to the service with all users receiving at least one or more messages. In total, 56 text messages were generated for a total of 9 events. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>User adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Positive user experience </li></ul><ul><li>EMG community </li></ul>
    21. 21. Community Engagement and Participation <ul><li>EcoTEXT increased levels of civic engagement, with: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>87% of subscribers forming new contacts and connections within the community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>85% increase awareness of local environmental events </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>77% participating in an event or activity based on information they received through the service. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Further work … <ul><li>Further Work (1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other types of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alerts from local councils - receipt of planning applications in an area of interest, events such as local consultation meetings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alerts of changes to dates/times of refuse or recycling collection services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notification of any changes to the London Green Map or the local community map. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><ul><li>Work with other third-sector users of the service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EcoMessage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding/Subscription-based services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other preferences </li></ul></ul>Further work …
    24. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>Public participation </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Apps / Services </li></ul><ul><li>Constellation of services </li></ul>

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