Future Cities

Living Lab : SenseMyCity

SENSEMYCITY - Crowdsourcing an Urban Sensor

A Sensing Framework

SenseMyCity consists of an infrastructure for simplified collection of geo-indexed data sensed using mobile devices, along with a pool of users willing to participate in experiments and the logistic support for city-wide experiments.

The technical infrastructure consists of:

  1. Mobile Framework to gather data from the device's available sensors.
  2. Server to store and process the data.
  3. Webpage to consult information in a user friendly way.

Gather Data:

The process is transparent, but the user can always control when to play or stop logging and export the data. There is also the ability to activate a fully automatic data-collection mode, where the application senses and gathers data only during the users trips. While the application is logging data, the user can close it and use the device normally, as it runs in the background, without interfering with the daily use.


Users can use the device's account to logon to the server using Google Authentication. If more than one Google Account is saved in the device, the user can select which one to use in the application preferences.


Security and privacy is an ever important module of the framework. The user email is not stored and only Google Authentication is used. The application uses account retrieval and validation mechanisms provided by the operating system. All data transmitted is encrypted with a strong key pair for handshake and an individual key generated for each trip.


The framework is capable of handling a myriad sensors. These include:

  1. Location - GPS and Google's Fused Location Service.
  2. Motion - accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and Google's Activity Recognition.
  3. Environmental - light, pressure, temperature, humidity, noise level.
  4. Radio - Wifi nearby hotspots.
  5. External - vehicle sensors (OBD), cardiac monitoring (Vital Jacket and Zephyr), air quality (FREMU)




SenseMyFEUP is built on top of SenseMyCity framework, with the goal of analyzing FEUP's mobility patterns and study the community ecological sustainability.
Participants were asked to contribute their anonymous data and self-report used transportation mode, showing them statistics on their trip distance, duration and carbon footprint vs the average of the FEUP's community.

SenseMyFEUP, comparing a user's travel mode with FEUP's average


SenseMyMood is a collaboration between FEUP and FPCEUP. The goal is to understand whether there are areas where people feel better/happier, and whether there are environmental factors that correlate with the perceived happiness, like noise or the reason for being there. Moreover, it collects mobility information, to quantify traffic light waiting times, identify traffic congestions at different times of day, and know how many people actually move from one part of the city to another, using which transportation mode.


SenseMyMood user's mood map: average reported happiness


Articles about SenseMyCity

"A mobile sensing architecture for massive urban scanning", JGP Rodrigues, A Aguiar, F Vieira, J Barros, JPS Cunha, 2011 14th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6082958/?arnumber=6082958

"SenseMyCity: Crowdsourcing an Urban Sensor", JGP Rodrigues, A Aguiar, J Barros, arXiv:1412.2070, https://arxiv.org/abs/1412.2070


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