The Darkness Map mobile app is a data collection tool that enables people to contribute to the Darkness Map visualization. The iPhone app will be used ...
The Darkness Map mobile app is a data collection tool that enables people to contribute to the Darkness Map visualization. The iPhone app will be used at the Slingshot Festival at the University of Athens, Georgia on March 8-9, 2013. Download the App: The Darkness Map is a visualization of light levels in the city at night. To collect this data, a custom mobile app computes the average brightness for each frame of your phone's camera preview, and saves that value with the phoneâ€™s timestamp and GPS location. Add to the Map: Once the Darkness Map App is downloaded to your mobile device, activate it at night as you walk around your neighborhood. Video is GPS tagged and processed to save data that is uploaded to the Darkness Map servers and added to the map. How it Works: The Darkness Map App finds the average brightness of each frame of video. Each frame is tagged with a GPS location so it can easily be added to the map. Background: We have all seen satellite images of planet Earth at night, but aside from expressing that cities are bright, or that nighttime power is primarily a first-world commodity, these images do not portray much practical information. The Darkness Map aims to communicate dark and light levels within the nighttime urban environment on a human scale. Inspired by a desire to find dark areas (in order to determine the best locations for outdoor projection) in a city dominated by lighting for commerce, entertainment and public safety, the Darkness Map was conceived of to visualize the nighttime light levels on New York City's sidewalks. Data is collected by capturing video of each city block, tagging it with a GPS location, then analyzing it algorithmically to compute the average brightness of each frame. This data is displayed as a map visualization that depicts the lightness and darkness of city streets at night. Possible extensions of the Darkness map could be data mashing to see whether light levels in the city at night correlate with other location-specific data, like public safety records, traffic incidents, or unauthorized interventions in public space (graffiti). Credits: The Darkness Map is a project by Emiliano Burgos and Genevieve Hoffman, conceived with Scott Wayne Indiana, and Rune Madsen. Versions of the Darkness Map are active in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. The iPhone version of the Darkness Map App will debut at the Athens Slingshot Festival at the University of Athens, Georgia in March 2013. The Darkness Map was part of the San Francisco Urban Prototyping Festival in October 2012, and is made possible in part by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Privacy: The Darkness Map is an open-source project that uses crowd-sourced data to visualize the urban environment at night. The Darkness Map app provides a way for users to contribute to the Darkness Map visualization. The Darkness Map app does not maintain any personal information about users. The data users collect and send to our servers consists of a light level reading, timestamp, GPS coordinate, and session ID. There is no way to trace back to an individual or phone. By using the Darkness Map app users are contributing to an open-source project, and the data collected will be added to the Darkness Map database, and made available as an open source dataset.
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