Participatory Sensing App for Foreign Visitors

Synopsis of trial

Tsukuba city is one of the most famous scientific cities in Japan with more than 100 research institutes and universities. For this reason, many domestic/international academic meetings, including international conferences, are held in Tsukuba.  Additionally, Mt. Tsukuba is a famous sightseeing spot which receives many visitors from Japan and overseas each year.

According to city officials in Tsukuba, they do not have comprehensive information regarding foreign visitors, such as the number, gender, country, popular visiting places, etc. and they do not always know the problems experienced by foreign visitors.

To cope with this problem, in this trial, we develop a participatory sensing system for foreign visitors using smartphones to collect problems experience by the users during their stay in Tsukuba. The application allows users to submit a problem along with a photo and descriptive texts.  In addition, for submitted problems, the system allows volunteers to offer real-time responses in terms of texts, which are considered to be useful for the visitors to solve the problem.  The objectives are as follows: 1) to collect problems experienced by foreign visitors in Tsukuba, 2) to make real-time assistance by volunteers to the visitors through the system, and 3) to collect basic information about foreign visitors in Tsukuba, such as profile, age, gender, living country, visited places in Tsukuba, etc.