Community Mapping and Sensing

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Anne Galloway:

"We often think of mobile technologies simply in terms of their communication capabilities, but their increasing ability to trace our movements and collect information about the spaces through which we pass, can also make it easier for people to keep track of the places and things that matter most to them. From geo-visualisations and mapping mash-ups, to the mobile geospatial web and location-based services, people’s relationships to places (and each other) are changing.

Community mapping and sensing projects that use commonly available consumer electronics as environmental measurement devices, enable people to collect and view a wide array of location-based data. As a form of public science, such projects stand to reinvigorate environmentally focused civic engagement. However, given public concerns around environmental risks and their connections to technological progress, I believe that this kind of active citizenship should promote more critical reflection on the values and goals of the very projects that expect to create such profound changes in these domains, and carefully consider the limits of its own power." (


  1. the US-based artists, activists and technologists of Preemptive Media have been exploring how both people and animals can be used as technologically enabled environmental sensors
  2. Proboscis, in collaboration with university researchers, has similar interests in using sensor technologies to enable public action around environmental issues
  3. The Common Sense team is developing mobile environmental sensing platforms to support community action and citizen science.

The article above has details about the following projects:

  1. Area’s Immediate Reading
  2. Robotic Feral Public Authoring
  3. Citizen Sensing