Mapeaton, pedestrian conditions' monitoring

Posted by mapeadora on 21 June 2016 in English (English). Last updated on 14 February 2017.

In the development process of #Repubikla, an open community map on the active mobility conditions, we have seen the need to develop a methodology for more specific and visual documentation of the infrastructure where bicycles and pedestrians travel daily. We wanted to develop a permanent and participatory mapping, based on georeferenced photos and itineraries, evaluating sidewalks that hinder foot traffic, obstacles, bad design or poor condition for pedestrian, wheelchairs or pushing a stroller, using a cane or crutches. We call this collective initiative “Mapeaton”.

Concretely, what is Mapeaton?

Mapeaton is a user account in Openstreetmap and Mapillary, that can be connected simultaneously by anybody who wants to collaborate in this collective citizen audit. We use applications such as Mapillary or any streetview app, enabling through mobile phone or a tablet to take pictures while you are walking or on a wheelchair, keeping the coordinates. Once connected to a WiFi network, the photos are uploaded to the cloud. Opening Mapeaton account, you can consult, share, download or comment on these photos.

The pics can be used represented on a map (coming in Repubikla-cartoDB), can be downloaded, or can also be shared via social networks, linked to a map location and complete sequence travel photos.

How Mapeaton started working with the community?

Mapeaton started in 2016. We spread in a community way on the occasion of mapping workshops with Repubikla and Openstreetmap editing. It is a tool and methodology observation of public space that we seek to strengthen between the pro active mobility activism. At the moment, have participated Bicivilízate Michoacán, attending the 3rd Congress of the Pedestrian League, communities and students from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico Campus Toluca and UNAM in Mexico City. The Mapeaton account has already about 5500 images and 40 kilometres mapped in different cities.

Specifically, what do we illustrate?

All connected to the collective mapeaton account (

  1. In front of the contingent, a “model” in a wheel chair or stroller, or with the vision of a child, directly records a complete sequence using a cell phone support if necessary. The ideal is to have groups of approximately 10 people per model and a guide that defines the path (the model can act as a guide).
  2. Another person records a sequence a few meters behind the model, observing the wandering of the same.
  3. The most important of the Mapeaton is the audit, the whole group is dedicated to making manual and non-sequential photos: problems in sidewalks, pedestrian walkways that are not or poorly located or poorly marked, sidewalks with irregular surface, posts, accumulation of trash, bumps, dangerous inclinations, hampering car ramps, poorly designed wheelchair ramps, etc.
  4. Another person makes panoramic views of the intersections considered dangerous, using a slow moving and stable sequence or a 360 ° camera in these points. For specific intersections, another dedicated Mapillary account is used: #CrucesNegros

CrucesNegros can be developed at the same time or independently to a #Mapeaton.

Additional recommendations:

  • Do not record sequences from within the contingent: only the bodies of the participants are seen.
  • We can use Mapeaton individually with specific photos (no sequences), while traveling in the city, or on a collective walk, or to support an audit of the pedestrian traffic space.
  • It is important to connect from the mobile application to the Mapeaton collective account, since it is the only way to be able to “call” the database photos to the same map. The same idea with #CrucesNegros. *Remember disconnecting from the collective account when you are no longer performing the exercise of Mapeaton. *Do not document bike paths from the Mapeaton account, but from an account created for this purpose or from a personal user.

What’s Next?

Mapeaton has inspired several actions to systematize scattered actions of citizen audit. Together Openstreetmap Mexican chapter and the Mexican Secretariat of Finances promote the use of open streetviews apps in order to monitor the use of public resources in the development of public works (#transparencia presupuestaria, #tpresupuestaria). It can be used as a tool for citizen systematic evaluation of a highly relevant equipment or infrastructure. For this we recommend monitoring with a set frequency, which can be weekly, monthly, bimonthly, covering the infrastructure (if linear) towards one direction and then the other; on one side and then the opposite side; giving a circular turn around this infrastructure covering the maximum possible views, with good lighting and good visibility, without crowd.

We also promote the creation of open georeferenced images in the case of climate risk assessment in informal settlements; to accurately document temporary flood zones in rainy period in Mexican cities; to understand and illustrate the perspective of women to transit day and night on the town.

Complete version and methodology in spanish

Location: 06850, Mexico

Comment from eneerhut on 1 July 2016 at 09:36

Fantastic write up on using Mapillary for urban improvements and monitoring. Thanks mapeadora.

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