UCL Department of Geography


From Non-Literate Data Collection to Intelligent Maps

We aim to design, develop, evaluate and deploy a generic platform that enables people with no or limited literacy to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, and analyse (spatial) data.

The platform is and will be used in a variety of concrete projects, often related to environmental monitoring. Ultimately the goal is to let communities build so-called Community Memories: evolving, shared representations of the state of their environment, their relationship with it, and any threats it faces.

We started by developing tools to allow non-literate people to engage in participatory mapping. To extend participation beyond mere data collection we plan to introduce novel approaches to the visualisation, analysis and editing of spatiotemporal data, comprehensible for non-literate users – a concept we call Intelligent Maps.

This project involves a variety of disciplines, such as Human-Computer Interaction, Anthropology, Software Engineering, and GIScience.