There is a high societal demand for citizen observatories but the development of such observatories is labour-intensive, lengthy and requiring of technical expertise.
A partnership of five academic partners lead by the Software Languages Lab (SOFT), share the insight that there is on the one hand a high societal demand for citizen observatories, and on the other that the developments of such observatories is labour-intensive, lengthy and requiring of technical expertise. This led us to the idea of building and deploying an end-user reconfigurable citizen observatory platform for Flanders. Through this platform, stakeholders can set up their own citizen observatory instantiations targeting a variety of parameters: sensorial parameters (noise, air quality, humidity, …) or behavioural parameters (the flux of people in a public transport system, the tolerance of people w.r.t. traffic delays, contextual assessment such as “I’m sitting on an empty bus”, “I feel unsafe here”, . . . ). The FLAMENCO platform shall integrate tools, techniques and socio-economic insights that allow stakeholders to work around the central notion of a campaign.
The objective of FLAMENCO is to create an open cloud-based software platform designed to allow citizens to create and participate in citizen observatory campaigns.
The main objective of the 4-year Flamenco project is to create an open cloud-based software platform specifically designed for allowing citizens to create and participate in so-called citizen observatory campaigns. A campaign is defined by stakeholders by specifying what data needs to be collected in order to map and indicate some concern (A in the figure above). Subsequently, the campaign is enacted through the stakeholder’s citizen observatory (B in the figure above), which also monitors campaign progress in terms of incoming data, and orchestrates activities in case progress is not as expected.
Finally, the campaign is analysed by producing the requested output (maps, reports)(C in the figure below). Despite the fact that campaigns constitute a fairly obvious notion, there currently exists only limited support for them. In this project they are essential in bridging the gap between stakeholder usability, data quality, and the well-known intricacies of engineering reconfigurable software.
The Software Languages Lab is a research lab within the Department of Computer Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
Broadly speaking, the lab is active in the design, implementation and application of better languages to support the software engineering life cycle. This includes programming languages, formal languages, design languages, meta languages, modeling languages, domain specific languages, etc.
i-know is an academic innovation centre, which incubates state-of-the-art research in ICT with multidisciplinary teams of experts in the field of technology (micro-electronics, information processing, knowledge engineering) and domain expertise (environment, transport & mobility, sociology, economy).
As a strategic platform, we upscale from lab to industrial scale in closer partnership with industry, government and society, working towards social and economic valorization of academic research.
The MOBI Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology Research Centre of the VUB focuses on socio-economic evaluation for sustainable mobility and logistics and automotive technology with 70 specialists and a strong international network of academic, industrial & governmental partners. In FLAMENCO, MOBI is responsible for the development of the methodology to transform participatory data into meaningful mobility-related policy indicators, analyse campaign patterns for mobility and valorise the results in the mobility domain through a use case.
SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication), part of the VUB, specializes in social scientific research on media and ICT, combining user, policy and business analysis. In FLAMENCO, SMIT studies what motivates people to take part in participatory sensing campaigns and related citizen science initiatives. In this regard, it will also investigate how game design can inform the set-up of such campaigns and what constitutes meaningful public participation therein.
VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organisation in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today.
VITO provides innovative and high-quality solutions, whereby large and small companies can gain a competitive advantage, and advises industry and governments on determining their policy for the future. VITO has 750 highly-qualified employees who work on international projects all around the world. VITO’s headquarters are located in Mol, Belgium, and the company has a subsidiary in China. The total turnover of VITO amounted to about 140 million euros in 2014.