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Master Thesis: Towards A Messaging System for Context-aware Polls

Title:
Towards A Messaging System for Context-aware Polls


Description:
Statistics, forecasts and population studies confirm the continuous migration of population towards cities. The Citizen-Centric Cities (CCC) is a new paradigm, allowing governments and municipalities to introduce new policies for urban planning. This enhances the participation of citizens in the information, decision, and implementation processes for a better life in the city within democratic governance. These new polices will aim in particular at increasing the awareness of citizens to their individual and collective capabilities, both in decision making process and in implementation of these decisions. The ultimate goal in this area is to realize a migration from the customer-centric to the user-centric model.

When considering the involvement of citizens in urban planning through polling, results would only be promising if the "right" citizens are involved in the decision making process. The "right" citizens in the scope of urban planning are those who either live in the vicinity of a site being developed, or those who are fans of a certain facility being established. Hence, Location-based polling plays a significant role in this case, where it allows for polling based on the location where a citizen is positioned. Polling by mobile clients through their devices offers citizens the possibility of instantaneous poll based on their location. For example, citizens may be polled when they pass close to a certain region, for which urban planning is considered. In such a case, location-based polling is exploited to involve a certain subset of citizens, e.g people living in the vicinity – therefore considered to be most relevant and more concerned about the issue, and they are probably most aware of what their region lacks in terms of facilities or services needed. Thus, allowing them to participate in the decision-making and thereby the evolution of their city environment. In another case, if there are plans to establish a certain new facility, e.g a new stadium, in such a case location-based polling would be utilized by only polling citizens who are present in other stadiums around the city – as they are considered to have expertise regarding such a facility and could tell best what they like and dislike about the stadium they are currently at, or what facilities they would like to have in a new stadium.

Our aim is to implement a Location-based polling system for enhancing citizen participation in democratic decisions for the evolution of cities. Our aim is to develop a tool that allows for better, more satisfying and more consistent communication between administrators and citizens by implementing flash polls through an internet platform which also facilitates the involvement of (citizen) experts in municipal decision making processes. The site could be used by local administration to elicit information on specific topics, and could also be promoted in local administration offices as a space to offer comments and criticisms.

The main objective of this thesis is to implement a server platform. The platform has an interface that connects to municipalities enabling them to upload polls, and another interface that connects to Android client devices for tracking them and delivering polls based on their location (as defined by the municipality). Clients fill polls and are then delivered back to municipalities via the server platform. Privacy measures should be accounted for by adopting an opt-in functionality.


Challenges:

  • Develop Android application for background tracking
  • Implement Positioning Enabler Server Platform for analyzing and processing position data
  • Implement APIs between client/3rd party and Positioning Enabler Server
  • Develop concept for pushing polls to client device


Prerequisites:

  • Programming Skills: JAVA, J2EE Application Server
  • Preferrably interest in Android Development
  • Preferrably interest in Web APIs
  • Interest to work in the field of mobile computing and Location-based Services


Supervisor: , ,

Type: Master Thesis

Duration: 6 months

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TU Berlin - Service-centric Networking - TEL 19
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 8353 58811
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