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Friday, May 24, 2013

StreetSeen - Which street would you prefer to ride a bicycle on? #letsride

StreetSeen hopes to quantitatively understand different perceptions of streets. Most of us experience our cities along its streets. We walk along the sidewalks, bicycle or drive along the streets and ultimately explore our cities via these transportation networks.
Google Street View allows people to explore places across the world through 360-degree street-level images. Google Street View provides a great opportunity to study and understand our cities. StreetSeen is a project from The Ohio State University which extends Google Street View in order to allow people across the globe to experiment in evaluating cities.
Visual preference surveys provide the opportunity to see what people think about different places. Visual preferences surveys, originated by Anton Tony Nelessen in the 1970s, typically ask participants to view a series of images and score them based on their preference. The best visual preference surveys are precise in what they are seeking to measure. For example, making sure that all of the images are viewed from the same angle.
The great thing about Google Street View is that the images are 360 degrees making it fairly simply to rotate images to achieve the same perspective. These are realistic images of what cities are really like. They aren’t doctored fancy pictures. These are quite similar to what you would see if you were exploring a city.
Using the ideas from visual preference surveys constructed into pairwise surveys we have created an easy to use tool that lets anyone construct their own survey and begin to understand what people think about places in cities across the world.

About the Team

Dr. Jennifer Evans-Cowley is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration in the College of Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning in the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. She has passionate interests in technology that can help the public engage in participatory planning for the future of cities. She was named by Planetizen as one of the top 25 leading thinkers in urban planning and technology. She has won numerous awards for her teaching, advising, and research. Cowley publishes and speaks widely on technology and the future of the city. You can follow Dr. Evans-Cowley on Twitter @EvansCowley.
Jason Little is the Systems Engineer, Engineering Computing Services in the College of Engineering at the The Ohio State University. He serves as the technical lead for centralized web development within the College and is also pursuing his MBA at the Fisher College of Business.
Corey Hinshaw is a systems Developer/Engineer with The Ohio State University College of Engineering. His duties include software development, web design, systems admiinistration, and consuming the office's excess caffeine. You can drop him a line at @electrickite.
Meghan Frazer is the Digital Resources Curator for the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. She manages the school archives, the KSA Digital Library, and supports educational technology efforts by working on projects like StreetSeen. Her professional interests include digital content preservation and data visualization. You can send tweets in her direction using @meghanfrazer.
Shaun Rowland, Systems Manager in The Ohio State University Department of Computer Science & Engineering, also provided support and testing for this project.


This project is based on the great work of OpenPlans Beautiful Street Project and MIT’s Media Lab Place Pulse Project. Both of these open source projects provided their code on GitHub and served as a foundation for the design of StreetSeen.
In addition, the Mooculus site developed by Jim Fowler of The Ohio State University, and the OSU Digital First site provided key reference for this project.


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