Connecting urban commuters and communities using location-based technologies

Date created: 
Domestic computing
Mobile computing
Community systems
Urban informatics
Location-based games
Public transit

This doctoral work aims to explore how working professionals living in urban cities want to gain location-specific knowledge of their community through technology. While previous research has explored location-based systems and urban informatics, much of the work has focused on social and community life, and systems to support it. In this doctoral work, my goal is to go beyond social and community engagement by exploring organizational routines in the home, and designing a location-based technology to put community information in the context of the locations in which they occur. This includes exploring the facets of domestic life that involves community awareness and routine travel via public transit in urban cities. This dissertation is comprised of four studies presented in a cumulative format. The four studies include, 1) a mixed-methods study exploring the usability of city portals, 2) an exploratory study investigating the community information needs and routines of families, 3) an iterative design process that produced a community information system: a location-based game, City Explorer, and 4) another qualitative study that evaluated City Explorer by way of a field deployment. This work poses a critical reflection on how to design for people in urban cities and the role that mobile technology plays in people capturing, sharing, and viewing community information. Moreover, I offer a reflection on the changing definitions of community and the complexities that arise with the emergence of the Internet of Places and location-sharing. I conclude with a methodological reflection on the research methods used throughout my doctoral work. Finally, this dissertation is addressed to HCI and mobile computing researchers who are interested in designing location-based technologies to support community awareness and engagement.

Document type: 
Appendix G: Overview Video of City Explorer
Carman Neustaedter
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.