Tools for Students Doing Mobile Fieldwork

Tools for Students Doing Mobile Fieldwork

Mattias Rost (Göteborg University, Sweden) and Lars Erik Holmquist (Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-703-4.ch013


Students are not always sitting at their desk when learning new things – they are also out in the world. The authors present a set of tools they developed to support groups of students who are doing field studies. Initially, the authors gave the students a Wiki for gathering field notes and their group work material. Based on observations on how they used it and collaborated, they developed additional tools to run along with the Wiki. These include a mobile application for capturing data (photo, video, audio, and text) and automatically uploading to the Wiki, and a set of Web tools which run on top of the Wiki for increasing the awareness between students, and for browsing the captured data. They describe the implementation of these tools and report on the experience from having students using them on their own equipment during the course.
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ZoneTag (Ahern, Davis, Eckles, King, Naaman, Nair, et al., 2006) is an application for mobile phones that automatically uploads photos to the photosharing site Flickr ( It uses cell IDs to tag the photos with location, and to suggest tags that the user might want to use, based on current location and previously used tags. If the location is not known, the user can specify the location on the ZoneTag web site. The location specified will propagate through the network of ZoneTag users so that other photos from the same location (identified by cell ID) will be named. Unlike ZoneTag, our intended use of cell IDs is not to simplify tagging, but rather to simplify the organization of material.

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