Locating Sidewalk Problems Virtually

Developers have created software that helps users -- specifically, crowdsourced workers -- locate and mark challenges for those with limited mobility, and generates a report to send to the appropriate local agency.

What's the Latest Development?


Developers at the University of Maryland-College Park have created software that generates data about sidewalk impediments such as blockages, uneven pavements, and other issues and puts it into a report that can be sent to the local government agency responsible for fixing them. Thanks to Google Street View and crowdsourced workers from Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, problems everywhere can be identified and reported on from anywhere, making it a more expansive service than one such as FixMyStreet, a UK-based site that depends on locals.

What's the Big Idea?

People who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids often have difficulty with sidewalks that are blocked or in poor condition. Researchers prototyped the software after the US Department of Transportation expressed interest in the project: "[It] could save municipalities precious time and resources by telling repair teams the precise nature of the problem before they head into the field. This would aid scheduling and ensure that crews take the right amount of materials...to the site." The team will present their work later this year at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, to be held in Paris.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at New Scientist

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less