This is a collaborative proposal with Sustrans. The project will work with a combination of mobile phone based GPS and photo-recognition software to encourage and enhance the experience of cycling or walking in urban environments.
First, we propose to research and map cycling routes across Bristol and Leicester in partnership with Sustrans and their membership, constructing a wiki-type online database from member contributors. Sustrans will then be able to make the uploaded results available to ordinary mobile phone users without the need for stand-alone satnav devices.
Prior to this we will test a combination of technologies for mobile phone based location-detection. These will include using built-in GPS for those phones that have it (The roll out of GPS as a standard in mobiles is just starting), Bluetooth beacons in the environment, and image processing to recognise a location from a photo taken with the phone’s built-in camera.
In a second stage Sustrans will commission and offer "audiomaps" of the city to walkers and cyclists, as a pilot for a larger proposal for virtual city artworks, which will be delivered by the location-sensing test infrastructure as audio and/or text. These could include poems and other artworks relevant to specific landmarks and locations on the proposed routes. By this we mean spoken texts, verbal responses, site-specific oratory, street talk, rap. It is intended to also be available to disabled users - and all age ranges with a wide audience potential.
The mobile phone based location-detection features will be used to update positional information. Further tests on the use of Podcasts of route directions could also be uploaded in advance of the journey and to be correlated against positions along the route. Thus it is envisaged that both directional instructions and the poems will be delivered as audio streams according to route progress.
A third phase of testing and evaluation will follow, investigating user-habits and use of the systems, leading to a conclusion on appropriate forms of content, structure and delivery mechanisms.