PoliCrowd is a 3D participatory application allowing users to populate their geospatial information as represented on the virtual globe.
Registered users can upload Points Of Interest (POIs) through their mobile devices and participatively interact with POIs on the globe, adding textual and multimedia content (e.g. images, audios & videos). Users can also add map layers to populate a catalogue of geographic content useful for scenario customization. Different projects can also be created, saved and shared to promote community participation.
PoliCrowd is a collaborative platform allowing users to share information about tourism and cultural Points Of Interest. No matter if you are a tourist looking for the first time to a famous ancient monument or if you are a local citizen being at the bus station next to your house: you can report that POI on PoliCrowd and be helpful to the entire community! The great advantage of PoliCrowd is that everything you need is a mobile device: you will exploit the sensors of you smartphone or tablet (for instance, the camera and the GPS receiver) for taking real-time pictures of POIs and registering their positions!
To report Points Of Interest (POIs) within PoliCrowd, you need just to download an Android application which will guide you through a customized questionnaire currently available in three languages (English, Italian and Spanish). Required information is the date of the report, the type of user you are (tourist or local citizen) and the contents characterizing the POI you wish to report: its name and description, its typology, its geographic position (which can be registered through the device GPS) and a picture of it (which can be acquired through the device camera). Compiled questionnaires can be saved, modified and then send to the PoliCrowd application.
Please visit the INSTRUCTIONS section of the website for the step-by-step guide on how to use the mobile application for reporting POIs.
The Points Of Interest (POIs) reported through the Android application can be visualized within different bi-dimensional viewers, which have been developed in order to optimally work on all the possible devices used for the access: traditional desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. Each of these viewers (whose URL links are available in the INSTRUCTIONS section) allows to display POIs on top of multiple base maps. To help users dealing with map contents, POIs are represented with the same symbols that have been also used within the Android application. When clicking on a POI, a popup (for computer and tablet versions) or a new page (for smartphone version) shows all the field-collected information about that POI.
PoliCrowd platform visualizes the Points of Interest (POIs) reported from the Android application on the top of World Wind virtual globe. POIs are depicted on the globe with the same symbolization that has been also used within the Android application and the bi-dimensional viewers.
In particular, POIs representation becomes more and more specific as PoliCrowd users zoom the 3D map. For points of view with a high altitude over the globe, a common icon (i.e. a pin) is used to show all the POIs regardless of their characterization. At intermediate altitudes, POIs are represented according to the category the belong to, i.e. points with panoramic view, monuments, historical/monumental buildings, places of worship, places of artistic/cultural activities, sports facilities, transport stations and events. Finally, at small altitudes peculiar symbols showing the POIs nature are used: for instance, a POI belonging to the category of monuments will be depicted with a different, ad hoc icon depending on whether it is a statue/sculpture, a fountain or an historical monument.
Whatever is the current altitude of the point of view, clicking on the icon of a POI a balloon appears, providing users with the field-collected information (including the image) related to that POI. A “View” button inside the balloon allows also users to access a new browser window, showing all the information about that POI which has been collaboratively collected by the community.
The owner of a POI (i.e. the person who reported that POI through the Android application) can finally benefit from additional rights, that are the opportunity to real-time change the POI coordinates by dragging it on the globe, and the access - this time through a “View/Edit” button - to a personal page with editing privileges on the POI contents.
The participative nature of PoliCrowd platform allows users to collaborate in the characterization of the Points Of Interest (POIs).
The system distinguishes users between registered and not registered ones. Users who have not registered to the application have just the possibility to access the contents related to the POIs (i.e. comments, images, videos and audios), that have been previously uploaded by registered users. On the contrary, registered users (i.e. users possessing credentials for the login) have also additional rights. First, they can add comments and upload new multimedia contents (i.e. images, audio and video files) related to whatever POI, thus collaboratively contributing to their characterization. If the registered user is also the owner of a POI (i.e. the person who created that POI through the Android application), he/she has editing privileges on all the contents concerning that POI, i.e. both the details which have been previously inserted on the field and the POI information added by other registered users.
PoliCrowd provides some additional features which make it a powerful 3D participatory platform. First of all, users are able to add to the World Wind virtual globe whatever map layer which is publicly made available on the Web by companies and organizations (e.g. satellite imageries, orthophotos and historical maps). This provides users with the possibility to create customized map mashups. Registered users have also the right to save their map projects, which keep trace not just of active layers, but also the position (i.e. latitude, longitude and altitude) and the orientation of the point of view over the globe. Once a project is saved, it contributes at populating a project catalogue which remains available for the entire PoliCrowd community. Registered users can fully edit their own projects (overwriting them after saving), but they can also open and edit projects created by other users, provided of course that they save their own versions.
Finally, each geographic layer added by a user is stored into a layer catalogue, which remains available for the community. In accordance with what happens for projects, each layer is also owned by the user who added it to PoliCrowd. This allows registered users to maintain the full control on their layers, but provides at the same time the whole community with the ability to exploit new sources of geographic information.