Participate in transport research via your phone

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 15 October 2016

We want to find out how you move around Gauteng so planners, researchers, and government can better meet your transit needs! With all of the new and old transportation systems around Gauteng and beyond we need accurate, representative, and detailed information about how people really move around our urban area more than ever. This is particularly significant because socioeconomic opportunities for growth and employment as well as global and local opportunities for improved sustainability and social justice rely on city-regions as crucial drivers of development.

How you can participate!

Download the MyJoziMoves app from Google Play store (click here)

We’re calling you to join our study, which will be conducted for a total of two months: from 15 October until 15 December. Each day your app records some kind of movement – any kind of movement will report as long as the app is running! – it counts as one day towards the 25 you will need to report in total to be eligible for the 32 total cash prizes.

On 20 December, all people with 25 days will be entered into a lottery for the cash and other prizes. Because we are trying to understand everyday movements, it is important that you carry the phone with you at all times and record all daily activities for a minimum of 25 days. The results will be part of an academic analysis and reported to multiple levels of government, so the more your data represents your daily life, the better we can use this information to address your real concerns and challenges!

How does myJoziMoves record movements?

We have developed a smartphone application called myJoziMoves, which works similarly to sports apps like Runtastic or Strava. Sensors in smartphones can detect the speed and frequency you are moving, and our app simply collects this information and matches how these movements correspond to typical modes of transportation in and around Jozi.

Each time you move while the app is running, your pathway will be collected and displayed to you on your phone. This information is just for you – your privacy is of the highest importance to us – and it is not shared with other participants, any sponsors, or outside institutions of any kind. When you sign up, you enter your name and information if you want to be eligible for prizes, but your path is collected anonymously and we will never release any names or personal information. The app simply records your positions and modes of transportation, and then sends them to our secure server in Switzerland with a time delay – again to protect your privacy – where we will make maps of aggregate pathways by people using different modes.

Eligibility

You must have an Android smartphone (unfortunately no iPhones yet), and this phone must have GPS, be less than four years old (running on Android version 2.3 or higher), and have at least 500 MB of memory space free. Only those over 18 years of age can participate.

Employees of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory and Planact are welcome to particpate but are not eligible for prizes.

Where can I learn more?

Download the MyJoziMoves app from Google Play store (click here)

Website: www.myjozimoves.com as well as our

Twitter: @myJoziMoves

Facebook: www.facebook.com/myJoziMoves

For more information and to get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!

Tell your friends and family – spread the word and win some serious cash in time for your Christmas holidays!

Project Background

The MyJoziMoves project falls within GCRO's Untangling Transport project which explores various aspects of the GCR’s transport network to improve the information and knowledge base required to promote an integrated and sustainable transport system in Gauteng.

Regional planning must understand the daily lives and the socio-spatial patterns of movement by their residents, in order to create strategies for equitable urban development and sustainability grounded in specific local realities. On the provincial scale in Gauteng, these urban narratives are expressed in the paths and modes of transit people use to negotiate urban space in their everyday lives.

Previous research by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) and others have examined this topic by mapping statistical data, such as start and end destinations or commuter patterns, sourced from surveys, e.g. the GCRO’s biannual Quality of Life Survey. While these paths show the frequency of travel habits towards key points in the regional configuration, crucial aspects such as mode of transportation, transfer points, total travel time, and cost cannot be precisely modeled. To address this research gap, a smartphone application and web-based data visualisation tool will be developed by GCRO project partners Lindsay Howe and Markus Ringel, researchers affiliated with the University of the Witwatersrand Department of Planning and Modelling from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

In the proposed project Ms Howe and Mr Ringel are collecting the mobility location and mode data with a sample of people across the Gauteng City-Region. The application can track both the GPS location and mode of transit by participants carrying the smartphone, allowing modelling of travel patterns. In July 2015, this app was tested with 30 participants across Gauteng over one month. This proof-of-concept test was successful in mapping spatial data and also contributed to the overall understanding of the impact of transport in particular on the low-income urban populations that comprised the initial sample.

Prizes

The prizes will be selected anonymously and at random from the pool of the participants that have completed 25 days of the trial within 2 months. Cash prizes will be divided as follows:

  • 1 x 10 000 ZAR
  • 1 x 5 000 ZAR
  • 10 x 1 000 ZAR
  • 20 x 500 ZAR

That’s a total of 32 guaranteed winners! Further corporate sponsors and additional prizes are currently being assembled!


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