“Can you hear me now?” The December iPad Translation Challenge

The results are in!

Our December Translation Challenge ran from 1 December 2014 to 1 January 2015 – we asked our community to help us reach 50% translation in every language for our Android App. How did we all do?

Translation progress, 1 Dec to 1 Jan

Translation progress, 1 Dec to 1 Jan

At the end of the translation challenge, there were 9 languages at 100% and 16 languages over 50%, out of 35 languages in the translation system. So, while we didn’t make it so that all languages were over 50%, we nearly had 50% of all languages at 50% translation!

What about the iPad draw?

As promised, anyone who translated 1500 words or more was entered into our iPad draw (as this was the first ever translation challenge + iPad Draw, translators who translated over 1500 words before the challenge was announced on 1 Dec were included in the draw). And the winner is:

Nikola Stojanović
Nikola Stojanović (19), from Belgrade, Serbia, is a student; translator, designer and video-maker in his free time. He attends the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Applied Studies, and his section is Audio-Video Technologies. He is already enjoying his new iPad Mini!

DSC_0142_2

Nikola won the iPad Prize Draw! Photo Credit: Nikola Stojanović

We would also like to thank all of our other contributors who have participated in our crowdsourcing translation effort. We gratefully thank our participants who have translated 1500 words or more:

Some users chose to remain anonymous
Ferhad Fidan
Turkish
Desy Kristianti
Indonesian
Thomas Lautenschlager
German
Francisco Palaio
Portuguese
Maikel Simões
Portuguese
Nikola Stojanović
Serbian
Khadis
Indonesian
Georgios Varsos
Univ. of Cambridge
Greek

Thank you to our participants who have contributed any amount up to 1500 words to our translation effort:

Some users chose to remain anonymous
Irena Atnaguzina
Univ. of Glasgow
Russian
Andrej Guseff
Russian
Katopz
Pi R Square
Thai
Santiago Lorenzo
Spanish
Lasuardi Permana
Indonesian
Jeremy Rieunier
French
Alessandro Vaccaro
Italian
Guiliano Zamboni
Italian

Thank you so much to all of you! With your help, our apps and mission can reach more people around the world, increasing our global community for crowdsourcing objective signal and sensor data.

Want to be part of the next iPad draw? Stay tuned for the launch of the next iPad Translation Challenge this week!

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Our academic partners

At OpenSignal we like to promote and keep track of all research related to our fields of interest. If, like us, you speak crowdsourcing, mobile sensor technology and big data, you might want to check out some of these papers and on-going research projects that use our data.

Featured papers and major academic collaboration

Many academics in different fields – from computer science to medicine, meteorology or economics – have shown interest in what we do. We’ve been contacted by teachers and students with the most interesting research topics and have willingly shared our data with them, often getting involved in their projects.

Here is a brief presentation of some of the awesome papers and on-going research projects produced by our academic partners.

Matteo Venanzi, University of Southampton

–  “Trust-Based Fusion of Untrustworthy Information in Crowdsourcing Applications”, by Matteo Venanzi, Alex Rogers and Nicholas R. Jennings.

-  Trust-Based Algorithms for Fusing Crowdsourced Estimates of Continuous Quantities, by Matteo Venanzi, Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Matteo Venanzi’s research focuses on the reliability of information obtained through crowdsourcing applications. Particularly, he’s interested in the way information provided by individuals or devices of varying degrees of trustworthiness is aggregated. With this in mind, he developed a series of algorithms that aim to improve the accuracy of crowdsourced data, which he has applied to the OpenSignal dataset. His results have shown trust-based models to outperform other fusion methods.

Aart Overeem, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute 

 – “Country-wide rainfall maps from cellular communication networks”, by A. Overeem, H. Leijnse, and R. Uijlenhoet.

Overeem et al show how rainfall can be monitored in real time by studying microwave links employed in cellular communication networks; they use data from OpenSignal to understand the potential scope. As demonstrated by the authors, path-averaged rainfall intensity can be estimated, by means of an algorithm, from radio signals’ attenuation between transmitter and receiver.

- “Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphones battery temperatures”, by A. Overeem, J. C. R. Robinson, H. Leijnse, G. J. Steeneveld,B. K. P. Horn, and R. Uijlenhoe.

This article featuring our very own CTO, James Robinson, as co-author proves that urban air temperatures can be retrieved with relative accuracy from crowdsourced smartphone battery temperatures. Applying a heat transfer model to the OpenSignal dataset, estimated daily mean air temperatures were calculated for eight major cities. These values were then validated against data provided by World Meteorological Organisation certified stations, with satisfactory results.

If you want to read more about this research, check out this previous blogpost: http://opensignal.com/reports/battery-temperature-weather/

Clifford F. Mass, University of Washington

- “Surface Pressure Observations from Smartphones: A Potential Revolution for High-Resolution Weather Prediction?”, by Clifford F. Mass and Luke E. Madaus.

Professor Mass and Luke Madaus look into the potential of pressure readings crowdsourced from smartphones via applications like WeatherSignal. The uses of this readily available data include the forecasting of short-term mesoscale phenomena such as rainfall and winds. This study suggests that exploiting pressure readings from smartphones along with more conventional weather observations leads to better predictions.

Catherine Muller, University of Birmingham Urban Climate Lab (BUCL)

“Crowdsourcing for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences: Current Status and Future Potential”, by C.L. Muller, L. Chapman, S. Johnston, C. Kidd, S. Illingworth, G. Foody, A. Overeem, R. Graves.

Catherine Muller and collaborators – including OpenSignal’s Brand Strategist Samuel Johnston – carry out a comprehensive review of the existing methods to crowdsource atmospheric data, from Citizen Science projects and smartphone devices to social media and “hidden” networks. As well as providing a brief description of each of these approaches, the paper deals with both the question of assessing the accuracy of the data thus obtained and its many potential applications.

Sagi Dalyot, Technion- Israel Institute of Technology

– “Towards the Use of Crowdsourced Volunteered Meteorological Data for Forest Fire Monitoring”, by Sagi Dalyot and Shay Sosko (to be published).
– “Densification and Fusion of Static GeoSensor Networks Monitoring Forest Fires via Crowdsourcing”, by Shay Sosko (on-going research for a Master thesis, supervised by Sagi Dalyot).

Both these works employ the WeatherSignal dataset to study the use of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) as a way of monitoring and predicting forest fires. Environmental data crowdsourced from smartphones appears to be an efficient way of complementing the static geo-sensor network used to provide hazard early warnings and compensating for its limitations – such as lack of mobility, coverage issues and low density.

Pantelis Koutroumpis, Imperial College London & Berthold Horn, CSAIL at MIT

Pantelis Koutroumpis is one of our longtime academic collaborators and his research explores the intersection of telecommunications and economic development. Together with Aija Leiponen, Pantelis has been using some of the OpenSignal data to study femtocells in the city of Boston.

This is a subject that has also interested another of our closest partners, Berthold Horn from MIT. Co-author of one of the papers mentioned above, several of our blogposts feature his insightful remarks and he has written a report on femtocells that has appeared on our website.

Rumi Chunara, NYU Computer Science & Engineering and the Global Institute of Public Health

Rumi Chunara and her research group have been studying the way local urban weather relates to certain health outcomes. That is, in what way could climate variations at the street or neighborhood level affect the health of the population living in that specific area? The OpenSignal and WeatherSignal datasets were used as a mean to analyse climate variation from neighbourhood to neighbourhood in the cities of London and New York. Clusters where climate is similar were then studied for similarities in specific health outcomes, including asthma, depression and blood pressure. Professor Chunara’s on-going research suggests that crowdsourced weather data from smartphones are a promising resource to study the relationship between climate variation and health outcomes.

To learn more about Rumi’s work and research, have a look at her web site: http://chunaralab.com.

From the OpenSignal team

– “Modelling Download Throughput of LTE Networks”, by Joe Cainey, Brendan Gill, Samuel Johnston, James Robinson and Sam Westwood.

Last but not least, we conduct our own research too! In a recently published paper, Data Scientist Joe Cainey, together with part of our team, has presented a novel model to study download throughput of LTE networks. Applying his linear model to a set of data collected with the OpenSignal application, Joe shows that download throughput is dependent on a number of variables, including signal quality and strength, temporal factors, network operator and even the type of device. This is a crucial result in understanding how to create the best mobile experience for users.

If you want to read further…

We love the breadth of research citing OpenSignal or WeatherSignal – there are over 80 papers mentioning us, you can find them all in the table below.

Included in the same table are another dozen academic publications made by members of our team on various subjects – you might want to check out Pau Pérez’s work on privacy and security issues or James Robinson’s incursion into digital edition.

Get in touch!

If you’re interested in working with our data for an academic project, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch with us  through the contact form of our website: http://opensignal.com/blog/contact/. We’re also teaming up with disaster agencies such UNMEER (the UN’s Ebola Response team) and FEMA to provide realtime data via our app CrisisSignal. Read Ellie’s blogpost for more information: CrisisSignal launched in ebola afflicted regions.

And if you want to know more about, or even join, our fabulous team – 4 PhDs, 8 nationalities and a lot of languages (from R and Python to Russian and Mandarin) – check out our team page.

Happy reading!

 

Title
Publisher / Published in
Author(s)
Date
Link
"Crowdsourcing for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences: Current Status and Future Potential"International Journal of ClimatologyMuller, C.L., Chapman, L., Johnston, S., Kidd, C., Illingworth, S., Foody, G., Overeem, A., Graves, R.2015/01http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.4210/abstract
"Making Sense Out of Information Chaos"SIGUCCS '14 Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGUCCS Annual Conference on User Services Conference, pages 33-36Mark Fitzgerald2014/11http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=uar
"Practical challenges for large-scale deployment of mHealth solution insights from a field trial"Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2014 IEEE, 235 - 241Kuntagod, N. ; Paul, S. ; Kumaresan, S. ; Ganti, S.2014/10http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6970287&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6970287
"Caiipa: Automated Large-scale
Mobile App Testing through Contextual Fuzzing"
MobiComChieh-Jan Mike Liang, Nicholas D. Lane, Niels Brouwers, Li Zhang, Börje F. Karlsson, Hao Liu, Yan Liu, Jun Tang, Xiang Shan, Ranveer Chandra, Feng Zhao2014/09http://niclane.org/pubs/mobicom_caiipa.pdf
"Surface Pressure Observations from Smartphones: A Potential Revolution for High-Resolution Weather Prediction?"Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society, Volume 95, Issue 9Clifford F. Mass, Luke E. Madaus2014/09http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00188.1
"Modelling Download Throughput of LTE Networks"2014 IEEE 39th Conference on Local Computer Networks Workshops (LCN Workshops)Joe Cainey, Brendan Gill, Samuel Johnston, James Robinson, Sam Westwood2014/09http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6927712&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fiel7%2F6916489%2F6927672%2F06927712.pdf%3Farnumber%3D6927712
"Atmos: a hybrid crowdsourcing approach to weather estimation"UbiComp '14 Adjunct Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing: Adjunct Publication, pages 135-138Evangelos Niforatos, Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Marc Langheinrich, Pedro Campos, Andre Doria2014/09http://www.researchgate.net/publication/265377478_Atmos_A_Hybrid_Crowdsourcing_Approach_to_Weather_Estimation
"Smart Health: A Context-Aware Health Paradigm within Smart Cities"IEEE Communications Magazine, volume 52, issue 8Agusti Solanas, Constantinos Patsakis, Mauro Conti, Ioannis S. Vlachos, Victoria Ramos, Francisco Falcone, Octavian Postolache, Pablo A. Pérez-Martínez, Roberto Di Pietro, Despina N. Perrea, and Antoni Martínez-Ballesté2014/08
Trust-Based Algorithms for Fusing Crowdsourced Estimates of Continuous QuantitiesThesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southampton, Faculty of Physical Science and Engineering, Electronics and Computer ScienceMatteo Venanzi2014/08http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/368451/13/__userfiles.soton.ac.uk_Users_slb1_mydocuments_Venanzi%20-%20Thesis.pdf
"UK Citizen Rainfall Network: a pilot study"Weather, Volume 69, Issue 8, pages 203–207Samuel Michael Illingworth, Catherine Louise Muller, Rosemarie Graves and Lee Chapman2014/08http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/wea.2244/asset/wea2244.pdf?v=1&t=i4fja5eu&s=8b27692f0a93e96d30dfeb2fd9670883f67c6d5c
"The CantApp: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales on mobile phone and tablet"New Chaucer Society conference, Reykjavik, 18 July 2014Barbara Bordalejo, Claire Campbell, Terry Jones, Richard North, James Robinson, Peter Robinson, Mari Volkosh2014/07https://www.academia.edu/7661491/The_CantApp_Chaucers_Canterbury_Tales_on_mobile_phone_and_tablet
"Characteristics of Citizen-contributed Geographic Information"Huerta, Schade, Granell (Eds): Connecting a Digital Europe through Location and Place. Proceedings of the AGILE'2014 International Conference on Geographic Information Science, Castellón, June, 3-6, 2014.Spyridon Spyratos, Michael Lutz, Francesco Pantisano2014/06http://www.agile-online.org/Conference_Paper/cds/agile_2014/agile2014_109.pdf
"Extended Kalman Filtering and Pathloss modeling for Shadow Power Parameter Estimation in Mobile"International Journal on Smart Sensing and Intelligent Systems vol. 7, no. 2George P. Pappas, Mohamed A. Zohdy2014/06http://www.s2is.org/Issues/v7/n2/papers/paper24.pdf
"SEEDS: A Software Engineer’s Energy-Optimization Decision Support Framework"International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)Irene Manotas, Lori Pollock, James Clause2014/06http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~manotas/preprint/paper_379.pdf
"SDN/NFV Based Web Cache Consistency and JavaScript Transmission Acceleration Scheme to Enhance Web Performance in Mobile Network"The Journal of Korea Information and Communications Society '14-06, Vol.39B, No.06Gijeong Kim, Sungwon Lee2014/06http://www.kics.or.kr/storage/mailing/20140708/140708_134128333.pdf
"Urban WiFi Characterization via Mobile Crowdsensing"Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS), 2014Arsham Farshad, Mahesh K. Marina, Francisco Garcia2014/05http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/mmarina/papers/noms14.pdf
"Towards Evaluating Type of Service Related Quality-of-Experience on Mobile Networks"7th IFIP Wireless and Mobile Networking Conference (WMNC 2014), Vilamoura, Algarve, PortugalChristos Tsiaras, Anuj Sehgal, Sebastian Seeber, Daniel Doenni, Burkhard Stiller, Jürgen Schönwälder and Gabi Dreo Rodosek2014/05https://files.ifi.uzh.ch/CSG/staff/tsiaras/Extern/Publications/Towards_Evaluating_Type_of_Service_Related_Quality-of-Experience_on_Mobile_Networks_WMNC_2014.pdf
"On the Evaluation of a User-centric QoE-based Recommendation Tool for Wireless Access"Institute of Computer Science (ICS) of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)Michalis Katsarakis, Vasileios Theodosiadis, and Maria Papadopouli2014/05http://www.ics.forth.gr/tech-reports/2014/2014%20TR445_QoE-based_Recommendation_Tool_Evaluation.pdf
"On the use of mobile phones and wearable microphones for noise exposure measurements : calibration and measurement accuracy"Student thesis, Ecole de technologie supérieure, Université du QuébecRomain Dumoulin2014/05http://espace.etsmtl.ca/1320/1/DUMOULIN_Romain%2Dweb.pdf
"Upgrading Your Android, Elevating My Malware: Privilege Escalation Through Mobile OS Updating"35th IEEE Symposium on Security and PrivacyLuyi Xing, Xiaorui Pan, Rui Wang, Kan Yuan and XiaoFeng Wang2014/05http://www.solcer.com/pdf/privilegescalationthroughandroidupdating.pdf
"Forecasting mobile transmission reliability using crowd-sourced cellular coverage data"Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium (SIEDS), 2014Martin, Michelle C.; Kwan, Anne M. ; Forte, Eric J. ; Zhang, Stan F. ; Patek, Stephen D.2014/04http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6829892&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6829892
"Using Combinatorial Approaches for Testing Mobile Applications"2014 IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and ValidatiSergiy Vilkomir and Brandi Amstutz2014/04http://core.ecu.edu/vilkomirs/Papers/Vilkomir-IWCT-2014-Proceedings.pdf
"Predictive Radio Access Networks for Vehicular Content Delivery"Student thesis, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, CanadaHatem Abou-zeid2014/04http://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/1974/12162/1/Hatem_Abou-zeid_201404_PhD.pdf
"Australian mobile broadband network performance: Mobile apps as one possible way to provide consumer information"Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, volume 2, issue 1Shara Evans2014/03http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=187252544779517;res=IELBUS
"A Study on Security Threats and Dynamic Access Control Technology for BYOD, Smart-work Environment"Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2014 Vol II, IMECS 2014, March 12 - 14, 2014, Hong KongEun Byol Koh, Joohyung Oh, and Chaete Im2014/03http://www.iaeng.org/publication/IMECS2014/IMECS2014_pp634-639.pdf
"Mobile Quality of Experience: Recent Advances and Challenges"International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), 2014Vasilios A. Siris, Konstantinos Balampekos and Mahesh K. Marina2014/03http://www.aueb.gr/users/vsiris/publications/r6_mobile_QoE_IQ2S2014.pdf
"Big Data for Big Business? A Taxonomy of Data-driven Business Models used by Start-up Firms"Cambridge Service AlliancePhilipp Max Hartmann, Mohamed Zaki, Niels Feldmann and Andy Neely2014/03http://www.cambridgeservicealliance.org/uploads/downloadfiles/2014_March_Data%20Driven%20Business%20Models.pdf
"A Feasibility Study and Development Framework
Design for Realizing Smartphone-based
Vehicular Networking Systems"
Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE (Volume:PP, Issue: 99 )Yongtae Park, Jihun Ha, Seungho Kuk, Hyogon Kim, Chieh-Jan Mike Liang, and JeongGil Ko2014/03http://www.computer.org/csdl/trans/tm/preprint/06757009.pdf
"Is Node.js a viable option for building modern web applications? A performance evaluation study"Computing, SpringerIoannis K. Chaniotis, Kyriakos-Ioannis D. Kyriakou, Nikolaos D. Tselikas2014/03http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00607-014-0394-9
"Työkalut etätyönä toteutetussa Android-pelikehityksessä"Student thesis, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, FinlandToni Paavola2014/03http://theseus17-kk.lib.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/72054/Paavola_Toni.pdf?sequence=1
"Mobile Application
as a Business Strategy"
Student thesis, Turku University of Applied SciencesRudy Dordonne2014/02http://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/79859/Dordonne_Rudy.pdf?sequence=1
"Towards Scalable Automated Mobile App Testing"Microsoft ResearchRanveer Chandra, Börje F. Karlsson, Nic Lane, Chieh-Jan Mike Liang, Suman Nath, Jitu Padhye, Lenin Ravindranath Sivalingam, and Feng Zhao2014/01http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/211962/smash_tr.pdf
"Opportunistic mobile games using public transportation systems: a deployability study"Multimedia SystemsDario Maggiorini, Christian Quadri, Laura Anna Ripamonti2014/01http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00530-013-0353-x
"Spatially Resolved Monitoring of Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields"SENSEMINE'13 Proceedings of First International Workshop on Sensing and Big Data MiningDavid Hasenfratz, Silvan Sturzenegger, Olga Saukh, and Lothar Thiele2013/11http://www.tik.ee.ethz.ch/~saukho/paper/hasenfratz13rfemfs.pdf
"Long-term fairness in multi-cell networks using rate predictions"7th IEEE GCC Conference and Exhibition (GCC), 2013Abou-zeid, H.; Hassanein, H.S. ; Zorba, N.2013/11http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/abstractReferences.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6705763&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6705763
"Designing public safety mobile applications for disconnected, interrupted, and low bandwidth communication environments"IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), 2013Erickson, P.; Weinert, A. ; Breimyer, P. ; Samperi, M. ; Huff, J. ; Parra, C. ; Miller, S.2013/11http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6699028&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6699028
"Study, analysis and implementation of an Enterprise Mobility Management System"Student thesis, Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaDavid Arance Garcia2013/11http://upcommons.upc.edu/pfc/handle/2099.1/20111
"Predictive green wireless access: exploiting mobility and application information"Wireless Communications, IEEE, Volume 20, Issue 5H. Abou-Zeid, H.S. Hassanein2013/10http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6664479&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6664479
"Predicting mobile network bandwidth fluctuation to enhance video stream service quality"Science and Information Conference (SAI), 2013Peart, A.; Lockett, A. ; Adda, M.2013/10http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/abstractReferences.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6661837&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6661837
"Pazl: A Mobile Crowdsensing based Indoor WiFi Monitoring System"9th International Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM), 2013Valentin Radu, Lito Kriara and Mahesh K. Marina2013/10http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/mmarina/papers/cnsm13.pdf
"u-map: a User-centric QoE-based Recommendation Tool for Wireless Access Markets"MobiComMichalis Katsarakis, Vasileios Theodosiadis, Manos Dramitinos, and Maria Papadopouli2013/09http://www.ics.forth.gr/netgroup/mobile/publications/S3_2013.pdf
"Context Virtualizer: A Cloud Service for Automated Large-scale Mobile App Testing under Real-World Conditions"Microsoft ResearchChieh-Jan Mike Liang, Nicholas D. Lane, Niels Brouwers, Li Zhang, Börje Karlsson, Hao Liu, Yan Liu, Jun Tang, Xiang Shan, Ranveer Chandra, Feng Zhao2013/09http://www.msr-waypoint.com/pubs/203811/convirt.pdf
"Attacco ad Android: obiettivi, rischi e contromisure"Published online, Università degli Studi di Verona http://profs.scienze.univr.itAlessandro Menti, Mattia Zago2013/09http://profs.scienze.univr.it/~mastroen/Attacco_ad_Android_Menti_Zago.pdf
"An Empirical Study of API Stability and Adoption in the Android Ecosystem"29th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM), 2013Tyler McDonnell, Baishakhi Ray, Miryung Kim2013/09http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~miryung/Publications/icsm2013-apiecosystem.pdf
"m-Carer: Privacy-Aware Monitoring for People with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia"IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, (Volume:31, Issue: 9 )Agusti Solanas, Antoni Martinez-Balleste, Pablo A Pérez-Martinez, Albert Fernandez de la Pena, Javier Ramos2013/09http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6585878&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6585878
"Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures"Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 40A. Overeem,J. C. R. Robinson, H. Leijnse, G. J. Steeneveld,B. K. P. Horn, R. Uijlenhoet2013/08http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/grl.50786/asset/grl50786.pdf?v=1&t=i4ip57b6&s=92fcee7a617b4fece8514b57a6f376d92a7ba5c6
"The Social Audit and Corruption in Developing Countries"Published online, University of North CarolinaRobert M. González2013/08http://www.unc.edu/~dgill/links/courses/Econ985/2013Fall/RobertoGonzales.pdf
"Identification of Present-Day Transport Pilot Workflow and Derivation of Mobile Aids"2013 AVIATION TECHNOLOGY, INTEGRATION, AND OPERATIONS CONFERENCE, volume 3Theo Hankers, Peter Hecker, Nima Barraci, Jens Schiefele2013/08http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2013-4357
"Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures"Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 40, issue 15A. Overeem, J. C. R. Robinson, H. Leijnse, G. J. Steeneveld,B. K. P. Horn, and R. Uijlenhoe2013/08http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50786/abstract
"Crowdsourcing and its Impact on Future Internet Usage"Information Technology Methoden und innovative Anwendungen der Informatik und Informationstechnik. Volume 55, Issue 4Phuoc Tran-Gia, Tobias Hoßfeld, Matthias Hartmann, Matthias Hirth2013/07http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/itit.2013.55.issue-4/itit.2013.1005/itit.2013.1005.xml
"Fostering innovation: Factors that attract and retain third party developers in mobile ecosystems"Student thesis, Lund UniversitySinan Deniz, Ferdia Kehoe2013/06http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=3811052&fileOId=3811056
"Comments of CTIA – The Wireless Association"Before the Federal Communications Commission Washington, DCMichael F. Altschul, Christopher Guttman-McCabe,
Robert F. Roche,
Krista L. Witanowski
2013/06https://prodnet.www.neca.org/publicationsdocs/wwpdf/61713ctia.pdf
"The pursuit of citizens' privacy: a privacy-aware smart city is possible"IEEE Communications Magazine, (Volume:51, Issue: 6 )Antoni Martinez-Balleste, Pablo A. Perez-Martinez, Agusti Solanas2013/06http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6525606&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6525606
"Trust-Based Fusion of Untrustworthy Information in Crowdsourcing Applications"Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2013), Ito, Jonker, Gini, and Shehory (eds.), May, 6–10, 2013, Saint Paul, Min- nesota, USA.Matteo Venanzi, Alex Rogers, Nicholas R. Jennings2013/05http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/346520/7/main.pdf
"Netradar - Measuring the wireless world"11th International Symposium on Modeling & Optimization in Mobile, Ad Hoc & Wireless Networks (WiOpt), 2013Sonntag, S.; Manner, J. ; Schulte, L.2013/05http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6576402&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6576402
"Developing a user interface
for a cross-platform web application"
Student thesis, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied SciencesMaxim Dolgobrod2013/05http://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/61290
"2D-ANIMAATIOT OSANA ANDROID-SOVELLUSTA"Student thesis, Jamk University of Applied SciencesHenri Honkonen2013/05http://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/59714/Honkonen_Henri.pdf?sequence=1
"Mobile network measurements - It's not all about signal strength"Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC), 2013 IEEES. Sonntag, L. Schulte, J. Manner2013/04http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6555324&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6555324
"The hidden costs of mobile applications: A cross-layer analysis of energy and spectrum waste of mobile applications"Student thesis, Fitzwilliam College, University of CambridgeNarseo Vallina-Rodriguez2013/04http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~nv240/papers/thesis.pdf
"Android Tablet -Google Asus Nexus 7 with Android OS 4.2 (Jellybean)"Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, 34Dale Storie2013/04http://pubs.chla-absc.ca/doi/pdf/10.5596/c13-006
Contextual Fuzzing: Automated Mobile App Testing Under Dynamic Device and Environment ConditionsMicrosoft ResearchChieh-Jan Mike Liang, Nicholas D. Lane, Niels Brouwers, Li Zhang, Börje Karlsson, Ranveer Chandra, and Feng Zhao2013/03http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/202242/convirt_tr.pdf
"Erkennen und Abwehren von Angriffen im Mobilfunknetz auf Smartphones"Student thesis, Wilhelm Büchner Hochschule, Darmstadt, GermanyMarcus Prem2013/03http://smartphone-attack-vector.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Marcus_Prem_Angriffe_auf_Smartphones_Diplomarbeit_version_2013.pdf
"Sensorium — The Generic Sensor Framework"Networked Systems 2013Albert Rafetseder, Florian Metzger, Lukas Pühringer, Yanyan Zhuang, Justin Cappos2013/03http://isis.poly.edu/~jcappos/papers/rafetseder_sensorium_netsys_13.pdf
"Country-wide rainfall maps from cellular communication networks"Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, issue 8Overeem, A.; Leijnse, H.; Uijlenhoet, R.2013/02http://www.pnas.org/content/110/8/2741.full
"Fast Text Rendering on Embedded GPUs"Student thesis, University of GothenburgJonathan Gustafsson2013/02http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/176609/176609.pdf
"Massive WiFi Data Gathering"Journal of CSE GradOSF12, vol. 0, no. 1Salvador Aguinaga, Jianxu Chen2012/11http://netscale.cse.nd.edu/twiki/pub/Edu/GradOSF12MiniProjects/mini.pdf
"Comparison of the Performance and Capabilities of Femtocell versus Wi-Fi Networks"Student thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CaliforniaJames K. Bare2012/09http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA567411
"Predictive protocol for the scalable identification of RFID tags through collaborative readers"Computers in Industry (volume 63, issue 5)Rolando Trujillo-Rasua, Agusti Solanas, Pablo A. Pérez-Martínez, Josep Domingo-Ferrer2012/08http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166361512000814
"W3-Privacy: the Three Dimensions of User Privacy in LBS"MobiHoc 2011, the Twelfth ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and ComputingPablo A Pérez-Martínez, Agusti Solanas2011/05http://crises2-deim.urv.cat/docs/publications/conferences/673.pdf
"Location Privacy Through Users' Collaboration: A Distributed Pseudonymizer"Third International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies, 2009. UBICOMM '09Pablo A. Pérez-Martínez, Agusti Solanas, Antoni Martinez-Balleste2009/10http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5361630&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5361630
"Exploring the potential of volunteered geographical information as a source for special data acquisition"IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 20Izyana Ariffin, Badariah Solemon, Rina Md. Anwar, Marina Md. Din, Nor Nashrah Azmi2014http://iopscience.iop.org/1755-1315/20/1/012041/pdf/1755-1315_20_1_012041.pdf
Android Best PracticesSpringerGodfrey Nolan, Onur Cinar, David Truxall2014http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-5858-2_7#page-1
"Mobile Phones as Ubiquitous Social and Environmental Geo-Sensors"to be published in Yan, Z., ed., Encyclopedia of Mobile Phone Behavior (Volumes 1, 2, & 3). Hershey, PA: IGI GlobalGünther Sagl, Bernd Resch2014http://www.guenthersagl.com/publications/Sagl%20and%20Resch%202014%20Mobile%20phones%20as%20ubiquitous%20geo-sensors.pdf
"An Examination of Typographic Standards and Their Relevance to Contemporary User-Centred Web and Application Design"Cross-Cultural Design, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 8528, SpringerIan Christopher Dyer2014http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-07308-8_14
"Enhancing Mobile Video Streaming by Lookahead Rate Allocation in Wireless Networks"Proc. IEEE Consumer Commun. and Netw. Conf.(CCNC)Hatem Abou-zeid, Hossam S. Hassanein, and Nizar Zorba2014http://cs.queensu.ca/home/abouzeid/papers/PredStreaming-CCNC14.pdf
"Efficient Lookahead Resource Allocation for Stored Video Delivery in Multi-Cell Networks"Proc. IEEE Wireless Commun. and Netw. Conf.(WCNC)Hatem Abou-zeid and Hossam S. Hassanein2014http://cs.queensu.ca/home/abouzeid/papers/EfficientPredStreaming-WCNC14.pdf
"Mobilna aplikacija za daljinsko upravljanje fotoaparata"Student thesis, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information ScienceDušan Strgar2014http://eprints.fri.uni-lj.si/2359/1/Strgar_D%2D1.pdf
"Event-driven Middleware for Body and Ambient Sensor Applications"Student thesis, Technische Universität DarmstadtChristian Seeger2014http://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/3787/7/cseeger_final_v3.pdf
"The Indian App Ecosystem"The Indian Council for Research on International Economic RelationsRajat Kathuria and Sugandha Srivastav2014http://broadbandasia.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/The-Indian-App-Ecosystem-Final-Report_afterEF2014.pdf
"A Study of DNS Resolution Reducing Scheme for Web Performance Enhancement"Korea Information and Communications Society, Conference Winter 2014Gijeong Kim, Sungwon Lee2014https://new.kics.or.kr/storage/paper/event/winter2014/publish/3D-5.pdf
"GeoSpy: a Web3D platform for geospatial visualization"MapInteract '13 Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on MapInteractionNikita Sharakhov, Nicholas Polys, Peter Sforza2013http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2534947
"Comparing HTML5 Based Apps With Native Apps"Student thesis, Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer ScienceRebreniuk, Oleksii2013http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:678978/FULLTEXT01.pdf
"Saffy looks for the entry point into digital: simply read books and their first children’s book app"Student thesis, Simon Fraser UniversityLohnes, Heather Jillian2013http://summit.sfu.ca/item/12936
"APPLICATION LAYOUT TESTING FOR ANDROID MOBILE DEVICES"Student thesis, University of GroningenDaniël Kok2013http://www.cs.rug.nl/~alext/PAPERS/MSc/kok13.pdf
Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for DevelopersWileyGreg Nudelman2013http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Ifg1ZpSo7cwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA19&dq=%22opensignal%22&ots=bcFtWvoaLK&sig=sjs5lPUsvGC7kYWUEA5AqbZS5hQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22opensignal%22&f=false
"Optimal Predictive Resource Allocation: Exploiting Mobility Patterns and Radio Maps"Proc. IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM)Hatem Abou-zeid, Hossam S. Hassanein and Stefan Valentin2013https://www.metis2020.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/IEEE_2013_Abouzeid_etal_ResourceAllocation.pdf
"Touch-Optimised Mobile Interface for Invenio Digital Library"Student thesis, Ecole polytechnique générale de LausanneYannick Tapparel2013http://cds.cern.ch/record/1596242/files/CERN-THESIS-2013-119.pdf
"Accounting for roaming users on mobile data access: issues and root causes"MobiSys '13 Proceeding of the 11th annual international conference on Mobile systems, applications, and servicesGuan-Hua Tu, Chunyi Peng, Chi-Yu Li, Xingyu Ma, Hongyi Wang, Tao Wang+, Songwu Lu2013http://metro.cs.ucla.edu/papers/mobisys13.pdf
"Proposta de uma visita virtual 3D ao claustro do Museu de Aveiro"Student thesis, Universidade de AveiroRuben João Martins Carvalho2013http://ria.ua.pt/bitstream/10773/12182/1/Dissertação.pdf
"Study of automatic adjusting Content depending on Screen Size and Context"Student thesis, Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyMathias Moen2013http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:703719/FULLTEXT01.pdf
"Business Model Analysis On Android App Stores"Student thesis, University of JyväskyläLauri Heikkinen2013https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/bitstream/handle/123456789/42815/URN%3aNBN%3afi%3ajyu-201401171080.pdf?sequence=1
"Evaluation und Klassifikation der
Anforderungen an Datenverbindungen
mobiler Endgeräte"
Student thesis, Universität UlmTill Fischer2013http://dbis.eprints.uni-ulm.de/991/1/bachelorarbeit.pdf
"Vývoj mobilních aplikací pro platformu Apple iOS"Student thesis, Masarykova Univerzita Fakulta Informatiky, Brno, Czech RepublicVojtěch Bělovský2013http://is.muni.cz/th/374032/fi_b/Bakalarka.pdf
"The Impact of Perceived Quality, Perceived Sacrifice, and Perceived Value on Consumer’s Purchase Intention
-An Empirical Study of 4G LTE Internet Service"
Students thesis, National Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyHo-chung Wang2013http://pc01.lib.ntust.edu.tw/ETD-db/ETD-search/view_etd?URN=etd-0530114-121413
"Bringing internet to a village"Published online, Mälardalen University, SwedenJavier Del Sol Rodríguez2012http://www.idt.mdh.se/kurser/ct3340/ht12/MINICONFERENCE/FinalPapers/ircse12_submission_11.pdf
Posted in Academic, CrisisSignal, Open Signal Maps community, WeatherSignal | Leave a comment

Beta-Testing: What you need to know

Updated 20 March 2015

It’s an exciting time at OpenSignal, and we’ve got lots of things we’re working on to make the OpenSignal family of apps even better. However, we won’t be able to do it without your help!

Do you like what we do? Become a beta-tester! You’ll get exciting new versions as soon as they come out, and you’ll have a chance to give us invaluable feedback early on in the development process.

Here are the apps that we have going now, and how to join their beta-testing programmes:

For Android:

For all of our Android apps, join the relevant Google+ community and you will be able to access the beta version through there.

OpenSignal – join the OpenSignal Beta Google+ community

WeatherSignal – join the WeatherSignal Beta Google+ community

CrisisSignal – join the CrisisSignal Beta Google+ community

WifiMapper – join the WifiMapper Beta Google+ community

For iOS:

Apps that we have for iOS are: OpenSignal, WeatherSignal (only collects data with iPhone 6 or 6+, as these are the first models to have a barometer), and the newest addition to the family, WifiMapper (our global map of recommended WiFi hotspots – see more at wifimapper.com).

The beta-programmes for our iOS apps involve a different process. Here are the instructions on how to join:

  1. Enter in you iTunes email address and the apps you want to test into the form below.
  2. Install the TestFlight app on your phone – this is the beta-version management system.
  3. When you receive the invitation to join an app’s beta-testing programme, open the link with either the default Apple mail client or with Safari (some users have had problems if opening the link by other means).
  4. Test away – and don’t forget to tell us about any bugs you encounter or any features that you would like to see in the next version!

Please also note that on iOS, beta versions are only active for a month, so you may not get an invitation to test a beta when you join. If you would like to know when the next beta version will be released, please feel free to contact me at teresa@opensignal.com.

Thank you very much for your participation!

Posted in Android Beta-Testing, Beta-Testing, iOS Beta-Testing | Leave a comment

As The Customer Sees It: crowdsourcing regional coverage data

Over the past few weeks we at OpenSignal, along with Which?, the consumer advocacy group, have been putting out reports on the state of mobile coverage in the UK. This began in November when we released a report looking at overall coverage in the UK – and was followed by individual reports for the 12 regions that we and Which? decided to subdivide the UK into, released in two batches over the last two weeks.

Traditionally it has been extremely hard for mobile users to compare the performance of network operators, and therefore to gain accurate information on what level of service they can expect. The coverage maps published by operators often do not reflect typical user experience, as they are based on tests carried out by the network in public areas – with coverage beyond roads modelled from the limited tests run. We covered our concerns with the drive testing methodology, including drive-tests run using consumer phones rather than discrete testing equipment in our response to the recent OfCom coverage report.

Our reports on mobile coverage (and coverage maps published on this website, and hosted on Which?) are an attempt to help customers better understand the difference between mobile networks in terms of the actual service they provide, meaning that customers can make better choices based on localised coverage. Improving consumer choice is a key objective of OpenSignal, which made partnering with Which? an obvious choice. The data for these reports is gathered directly from almost 40,000 UK users of the OpenSignal app, which runs in the background recording the locations where users have access to the different network type (no signal at all, 2g, 3g, 4g), we get our speed data from background speedtests and tests run actively by users. All of our data, therefore, comes from real-world customers of the UK networks – meaning that have an unparalleled perspective into coverage as it is experienced by actual consumers.

After the second batch of local reports, EE responded publicly with criticism of our methodology, something which has not previously happened with any UK operator (indeed Vodafone said they welcomed the findings), claiming that a sample of 2 million would be required to fully understand mobile coverage in the UK – a surprising claim considering that they published a survey earlier in the year revealing the behaviour of 4G users [pdf], a survey based on 1,000 4G users.

By rejecting our findings, EE are rejecting the directly measured experiences of almost 10,000 of their own customers; users who have traditionally had little avenue for complaint, or few resources to go by when determining whether their own individual experience is typical or to be expected. At OpenSignal we want our reports to reflect the experience of these consumers, and to give users a suitable platform to ensure that their experience as consumers is heard publicly. These are the very people that it is increasingly important that networks should be listening to. Of course, having more users always allows for better information – but we are very confident that our sample is representative and statistically significant. To reject our findings on grounds of ‘sample size’ is only going to be misleading to consumers, the very people that Which? and OpenSignal are trying to help by making better coverage information more easily accessible.

Our ‘time on’ metrics are not an attempt to measure total UK coverage geographically, we instead attempt to survey the true experience of mobile users in the UK, based on data collected 24/7 from real consumer devices. Mobile operators’ own network testing, including tests run for them by third parties, cannot typically test in people’s homes or offices, the places where people spend the most time. Indeed, networks including EE, Vodafone and O2 have partnered with companies that crowdsource mobile coverage data, validating our methodology as an important tool for gaining a complete picture of the end user experience. Our data is used by networks worldwide and our UK report was cited by OfCom in their most recent mobile coverage report [pdf]– as an alternative to mobile coverage data self-reported by the operators themselves. Independent data is crucial to a healthy mobile network ecosystem, as it allows for a level of regulatory and consumer oversight that is not possible when networks self-report coverage based on their own testing methods.

We do not test the network in terms of theoretical performance, we do not model the network based on tests done in pre-determined locations; instead we directly measure the proportion of time that real users have access to the different levels of mobile network provision.  There is no agenda to our publication of results, we are merely recording what the customers themselves experience in order to provide better information to a market that has historically been marked by an information imbalance between consumer and provider, a market failure that leads to inefficient purchasing decisions. In the light of recent announcements from the DCMS about possibly enforcing national roaming in the public interest, it would appear that neither the people nor the government are happy with enduringly patchy coverage, making it increasingly important that all mobile operators listen to their customers.

Posted in Networks' Own Coverage Maps | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s your band? Mapping LTE

“Verizon expands its XLTE network – the combination of Verizon’s existing 700MHz LTE spectrum and its newly activated 2100 MHz AWS spectrum – to over 400 markets in the US.”

“T-Mobile’s ‘super fast wideband LTE network’ went live in New York City three days ago.”

“EE switches on ‘world’s fastest’ LTE-Advanced 4G in UK”

These stories are just a snippet of the telecommunications advancements and improvements that are happening all over the world. Conclusion? These are exciting times!

Here at OpenSignal we are using the data collected by the OpenSignal app to build models of 4G and LTE networks and the factors that affect data speeds. However, we’re missing two pieces of the puzzle: the band (which part of the spectrum is used) and bandwidth (the range of frequencies included – how many frequencies make up the band). Different bands determine how permeable the signal is through different materials (and therefore the distance covered by that band), and bandwidth determines the capacity of data that can go over that band.

The Android API does not have a published method to read the band and bandwidth information off the phone. This means we cannot map these important details together with our other signal data without your help! You can check the band your phone is on by entering ‘Service Mode’. On Samsung phones this is done by entering *#0011#, but on other phones the codes can be different – sometimes the codes will also change based on the network operator you have.

Once you’re in Service Mode, look for the Band information, and if you find it, the LTE DL BW (LTE download bandwidth) or the Earfcn_dl (which stands for E-UTRA Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number Downlink, and refers to the download frequency). Once you have this information, if you could please enter it into the form on this page, we can track the developments in LTE services: http://opensignal.com/blog/2014/05/11/help-needed-mapping-lte-bandwidth/

Many thanks for your help and contributions! If you have any questions, just email me at teresa@opensignal.com.

Posted in LTE | Leave a comment

CrisisSignal launched in Ebola afflicted regions

When disasters strike, whether conflicts, flooding, earthquakes or epidemics, the effectiveness of the emergency response can often mean the difference between life and death. Mobile phones have a crucial role to play in emergency response, and will only grow in importance as they become more ubiquitous (the ITU estimated there were 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide in 2013).  The OpenSignal team has developed an app called CrisisSignal, which is designed to collect data on cellular and Wi-Fi coverage in emergency situations. The app, available on Google Play, allows users to contribute to mapping coverage in (or very close to) real time, providing information to emergency responders, humanitarian agencies and local communities so they can make appropriate decisions as part of the relief effort.

CrisisSignal has been tested in several emergency response situations, such as after Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012 in collaboration with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and following the devastation in the Philippines from typhoon Haiyan in 2013. It is about to be rolled out to the largest cohort so far, to assist relief efforts for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Nethope, a group of 43 international humanitarian NGOs, is working with a number of organizations to distribute 10,000 phones in West Africa, funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. These phones are currently en route via Ghana and have several apps pre-installed, including CrisisSignal, to map coverage in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. OpenSignal has teamed up with Esri, who supply Geographic Information System (GIS) software, and other experts to map the data that the CrisisSignal apps collect and provide it to the public as part of the World Bank Geonode system. This is the first uptake of CrisisSignal at scale, and potentially an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the communities that have been most affected by the disease.

Initial readings from CrisisSignal in West Africa

Initial readings from CrisisSignal in West Africa

Why does mobile matter?

The humanitarian sector is evolving to harness the power of technology in emergency response situations. The Red Cross defines humanitarian technology as ‘the use and new applications of technology to support efforts at improving access to and quality of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and rebuilding efforts’. Communications are a necessity in the aftermath of disasters and therefore a key humanitarian technology. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the right to ‘seek, receive and impart information and ideas’ i.e. communicate, ‘through any media and regardless of frontiers’. Humanitarian and aid organizations can work to ensure this human right through making communications a top priority.

Communication

Two-way mobile phone communications can help victims of disasters by ensuring that local communities remain in contact. Authorities can send messages notifying people of danger. There are also psychological benefits associated with keeping in touch. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched a campaign to send SMS alerts to warn Haitians of preventable diseases, such as cholera, weather warnings and directions for finding help. Feedback from several participants of the program said the SMS made them ‘feel cared for’.

Communities affected by disaster can also communicate useful information, and should be empowered to engage with the aid effort as a whole. For example, Al-Jazeera established a program called Somalia Speaks in 2011, using mobile phones to send and receive SMS on how people were being affected by the conflict. Mobile users also take to social media to communicate, such as in Syria where YouTube has been used to inform the international community of what is happening in conflict zones. Mobiles allow for family members to keep in touch at home and abroad, and enable practical actions such as the transfer of cash via mobile money from the diaspora.

Data and Maps

Data collected actively or passively from mobile usage can also contribute to emergency response efforts. For example, research teams predicted population displacement using call records after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Movement of populations is common after disasters such as earthquakes, which makes it difficult for relief organizations to deliver the necessary aid. Data from mobile phones has also been combined with maps following disasters, a process known as ‘crisis mapping’, just as CrisisSignal does. For example, maps of tweets were used during Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines in 2012 to provide data to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  (OCHA) so they could assess the extent of the damage and plan accordingly. Ushahidi, meaning “testimony” in Swahili, was originally established to crowdsource data and map the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Ushahidi partnered with Tufts University after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to crowdsource SMS and social media mentions to plot events to maps, which, according to the US Marine Corps saved hundreds of lives.

How CrisisSignal fits in

The power of mobile phones to contribute to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery is dependent upon connectivity. The data that will be collected through CrisisSignal has an impact both in terms of the immediate response as well as intermediate, and longer-term reconstruction and disaster preparedness actions.

After a disaster, communications infrastructure is often damaged and cell sites may be down. Roads might be blocked, making it impossible for vehicles carrying telecommunications reconstruction equipment to reach these damaged sites. As more and more people use their phones to check on friends and family and take to social media, networks may become overloaded and fail. By getting CrisisSignal on phones in the disaster affected area fast, the state of connectivity can be learned quickly in-real time so that decisions on appropriate relief efforts can be made and resources diverted to the most efficient use. Immediately following a disaster this could involve learning where to place limited supplies of temporary cell tower infrastructure such as Vodafone’s Instant Network of Base Transceiver Stations, Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) portable terminals, or Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs).

After the initial immediate response to a disaster, humanitarian organizations may wish to gather data using mobiles to further assist in the relief effort. For example, applications and tools such as the Open Data Kit (ODK), KoBoToolbox, Commcare, Premise, Magpi, NOMAD, and FrontlineSMS, can be used to track aid efforts, population displacement, market information and survey data. The network coverage information gathered by CrisisSignal lets aid organizations know where they can roll these efforts out. In particular, some of these require a data connection while others simply require voice or SMS. Since CrisisSignal maps the connection type, organizations will know what tools can be used where.

In the longer term as efforts move to reconstruction and preparedness, CrisisSignal can play a role in understanding how to build out cell tower structures and rebuilding damaged infrastructure. Countries affected by disasters may not have national coverage even before the emergency, and it is important to prepare for the long-term reconstruction of affected regions rather than just focusing on immediate fixes of towers in neighbourhoods that previously had coverage. Mapping out the country’s coverage can allow for this considered build out to take place, so that once the aid agencies leave a more resilient infrastructure remains.

CrisisSignal data will be collected from any phone with the app, whether it is someone based locally affected by the disaster, or a visiting aid worker. Education and communication ahead of disasters, such as raising awareness of the app locally so that it is installed on people’s phones ahead of time, and partnering with organizations that can distribute phones or notify aid workers to download them, will also allow for data to be collected quickly. This will speed up the time it takes to gain knowledge of the networks to roll out immediate relief efforts.

Initial CrisisSignal readings in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Initial CrisisSignal readings in Freetown, Sierra Leone

What’s next?

OpenSignal will be monitoring the data collected by CrisisSignal in West Africa, and will share the maps with the public and aid agencies operating in the region. As this is the biggest rollout of the app so far, we’ll be on hand to make bug fixes, answer questions and support the community of users. Most of this will take place on Google Play but also on the dedicated forum page http://opensignal.com/blog/forums/forum/crisissignal/. We will continue to learn from and share our data with the many organizations working in mobile disaster response, such as the GSMA Disaster Response team, UN OCHA and their Humanitarian Data Exchange, the Communicating with Disasters and Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and others. We have a lot to learn about how CrisisSignal can be used to facilitate emergency response, and we can use this knowledge to improve the app and data analysis in West Africa, and future disaster afflicted regions.

Posted in CrisisSignal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We’re raising the bar!

Can you hear me now?

Raising the Bar - Translation Status

OpenSignal is trying to reach as many people as possible – and our ‘signal strength’ isn’t great in some countries because our app is not in the local language. We’re asking for your help to raise the bar for our Android app – help us in the campaign to reach 50% translation across all languages by January 1, 2015!

How does it work? Well, in short, we’re using a crowdsourcing platform called Pootle to manage the translation effort. When you visit the page – http://translate.opensignal.com/projects/android/ – you’ll see all the of languages we’re currently translating into (and if you don’t see your language, you can just email me at teresa@opensignal.com and I’ll add it right away!). Please contribute as much or as little as you want! Do you have to register? Registering helps us know who did what, plus, you’ll have a chance to get some goodies à la OpenSignal … see below.

If you are the top translator in a language, or have translated more than 1500 words, we’ll send you a free OpenSignal T-shirt. But that’s not all!

If you refer someone to translate, and they translate more than 1500 words, you can get a second T-shirt!

Finally, anyone who translates 1500 words or more will be entered into our New Year’s Translation Prize Draw for a free iPad! Right now, there are only 5 people who have been entered! (We can only ship Apple products to countries with an Apple Online Store. We will try to get an alternative tablet if you live in a country to which Apple cannot ship).

Ready to go? Here are some more detailed instructions – http://opnsg.nl/help-translate-android3 – but if you have any questions, once again, just feel free to email me at teresa@opensignal.com.

Thank you so much for your contributions!

Posted in Competition, Help Needed!, Translation | Leave a comment

Like what we do? Help us collect data!

I’ve been working hard to write an FAQ section, to help our users understand how our apps work, special features, and our methodology. I’m putting this information together based on the questions that we’ve received, and the first question I want to address is: ‘How do I help? I want to collect as much data as possible to contribute to your maps. What settings do I need to have on my phone?’

Manual Speedtests

Running manual speed tests with the OpenSignal app is one of the best things you can do to contribute data. A manual speed test results in a a very rich dataset as it’s an active test of the network and we measure a number of different parameters.  Please do note, though, that the more tests you do the more data the app will use.

You may be thinking, speed tests are great, but there are only so many you can do as you go about your day. What are the settings that will let the app collect data on its own? Here’s a summary of those settings, for Android and Apple phones.

On Android

How do I collect as much data as possible?
The frequency settings change the rates at which data is collected by the app. Common to all modes, when the app is open, network scans are performed continuously (similarly to the high setting for background data – see below), but you can set how quickly readings are taken when running in the background, that is when the app is closed. On Android phones, the phone only collects readings when the screen is on.

Here are the differences between the modes you can select in the settings:

  • None – Your phone does not contribute any data to the OpenSignal project
  • Low – The app only scans when the app is open, not when the app is closed.
  • Normal – In addition to the scans conducted when the app is open, in Normal mode the app will take a scan every 60 seconds when the app is closed.
  • Medium – In Medium mode, the rate of data collection in the background changes – the app scans every 30 seconds in the background.
  • High – This is where it gets really interesting. In High mode, the app does not do a periodic scan. Instead, the app listens to all the signal strength changes, such as fluctuations in signal level, handoff between towers, change between cell different technologies. How much data this produces will vary quite a bit. For example, if you’re driving round you’ll get handed-off between antennae frequently, or if you’re on 2G you’re likely to see more towers.

What’s the difference between a scan and a reading?
A network scan looks at the signal strength and the tower that the phone is connected to, and looks for other towers. The app logs a signal reading from the tower the app is currently connected to. If the app detects other nearby towers that you are not currently connected to, it will log a signal reading from these towers as well.

You’ve mentioned that the screen needs to be on. Does the app not collect data when the screen is off?
No, the app does not collect data when the screen is off on Android, except if you have experienced a dropped call. On some Android phones, there are bugs when trying to get signal data when the screen is off, so if we include this data it would skew the data.

The Android Developer settings pageHow do I keep the screen on?
When you have your frequency setting set to High, there is a wake-lock on the screen which will prevent your screen from turning off, even if the app is closed. This works on some Android phones. A more certain method is to enable Developer Options on your phone and select the ‘Stay Awake’ setting, which will ensure your screen stays on when the phone is charging. You could also use a power management application to keep the screen on. Using the Stay Awake setting or a power management app will allow you to enable frequency modes other than High in the OpenSignal app.

Here’s a quick read that tells you how to enable Android developer settings (summary – tap the Build Number in the ‘About Phone’ section 7 times).

What other settings do I need to have?
It is really important to have location settings turned on – we cannot use your data otherwise. On Android, you can select different levels of accuracy for location data – and while just using GPS does work, the best one to select is location finding via GPS together with WiFi and mobile network information.

Just out of curiosity, what exactly are you measuring?
The standard readings performed by the app are ‘network signal and type’ tests: the app measures signal strength and the type of connection (3G, 4G, LTE, etc.), but it doesn’t measure whether the data connection is actually working. To check whether data is actually getting through, you need to explicitly run a speed test, or a quick ping on the overview tab. The app does run very occasional ping tests in the background as well.

If I have the app in the High frequency mode for data collection, won’t it use up a lot of my data allowance?
You can control the upload settings as well. The app gives you the option to only allow uploads over WiFi, preserving your data allowance. The default setting is to prioritise uploads over WiFi when the phone is charging, which means that the app will try to upload over WiFi, but if the app doesn’t get a WiFi connection for a week, then it will upload over a mobile data connection. Each line of data is 250 bytes, but the data is compressed so it could be around half that size for upload. Also, the more data you are sending, the better the compression.

On iOS

There are fewer settings in the OpenSignal app in iOS phones. Here is a brief overview of the various options:

Frequency of Data Collection
You have the choice to allow data collection in the background (when the app is closed or the screen is off), or only allow scans when the app is open. If background data collection is enabled, the app will take a scan when a significant change in location is detected.

Location Settings
Yes, location settings need to be on – Apple’s method for location finding involves GPS, WiFI and network information.

What are you measuring?
On Apple, the regular scans are short latency tests. We also look at the network type, checking whether it is 2G, 3G, 4G, etc.. This data contributes to the network rankings, and may also be used in another map / data visualisation. Unfortunately, Apple does not allow apps to read the signal strength of the mobile network.

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Now you are ready to go forth and collect data! Please email me at teresa@opensignal.com if you have any questions.

Thank you for your contribution and participation!

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Translate for a T-Shirt!

Hi everyone! Do you love languages? Do you know two or three or four? Are you learning bits and pieces of (insert language here) for fun? Join our translation effort!

OpenSignal are rolling out a big update to our Android app and there are a bunch of new bits that need translating. As a worldwide app providing worldwide signal coverage, we need to be sure our app is accessible to as many people as possible.

Interested? Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to http://translate.opensignal.com/projects/android/
  2. Register for an account – it takes 15 seconds
  3. Click on the language you want to translate
  4. Click ‘Continue translation’ and start translating!
  5. You can do as much or as little as you like.
  6. If you are the top contributor in a language, of if you have translated 1500 words or more, we’ll send you an OpenSignal T-shirt!
  7. We’re also happy to thank you for your translation on our social media.

Do I really need to register for an account?

You can suggest translations without registering, but you can only submit translations if you register.

What am I translating?

When you click ‘Continue translation’, you will be prompted with the various phrases that need translation. However, you can also choose to translate specific parts of the app.

File choices that are available after selecting a language

How would I do that? 

After you click on a language, you’ll notice that there are 3 files (see screenshot):

  1. google_play_description-hu.po- what users see on the Google Play Store when they find the app
  2. google_play_recentchanges-hu.po – the text that comes with the latest changes to the app
  3. strings-hu.po – all of the text that appears in the app

How long does it take translations to appear?

It should generally be around a week for translations to go live. To get them slightly ahead of everyone else (and help us test the latest app version) join our Android beta community at: http://opnsg.nl/beta_community

My language isn’t listed, how do I add it?

Just email me at teresa@opensignal.com and I’ll add it straight away!

                                                          THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

OpenSignal Team displaying our lovely T-shirts

 

Posted in Help Needed!, Translation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The OfCom Mobile Broadband Report: a response

Yesterday OfCom released a report [pdf] on the current state of UK mobile networks – a report similar to ours on the subject from last week, which found that 4G speeds had halved over the past year in the UK. OfCom focussed their report on network performance, rather than coverage, and cited our report to show that independent analysis is being carried out on the comparative coverage provided by MNO’s. Importantly, OfCom carried out their study by comparing performance in sites around the UK, both indoor and outdoor, where all four networks were present – and their findings were different to ours, with higher reported speeds on both 3G and 4G. In the OfCom report EE ranked as the fastest 4G LTE network while Vodafone were the fastest 4G network based on OpenSignal user data.

We feel very strongly that these kind of reports are exactly what OfCom should be doing, and that any and all independent data made available to consumers is a positive step leading to a more efficient market. We have made clear in the past that we want OfCom to do more independent testing, and make use of different datasets (such as OpenSignal) – so that better consumer information on network performance will force the operators to compete more in terms of the actual cellular service they provide.  We are supporters of all independent information that helps to achieve this end, and we are delighted that OfCom chose to cite our report, as it shows they are open to innovation and aware of the limitations of traditional testing methods. That being said, we retain a number of reservations about the methodology used in the OfCom study.

1) The data is up to eight months old: With the current pace of network upgrades, using data up to eight months old is not likely to reflect the current state of network performance. OfCom’s data collection ran from March to June, while our OpenSignal report covers the three months leading to October 1st. This is especially a concern when it comes to 4G measurements, as our UK report showed that average 4G LTE speeds across all networks had fallen 15% from March to October, meaning that OfCom may be overstating the speeds currently experienced by real consumers.

2) The type of device used: OfCom tested using a Galaxy Note III, a mobile phone which is available across all networks. They justify this by saying they want to test the network without it being affected by the user’s device, as different devices experience different speeds. While this is a legitimate way to judge comparative network performance, we do not feel that it is the best way to show the real user experience of the network. Testing using a consumer device in this way sits at an uncomfortable halfway point between using specialised testing equipment and data crowdsourced from real user devices, and is unable to fully capture the full spread of user experience. Many users do not have high-end devices, so testing using a device such as the Galaxy Note III is likely to overstate speeds. Our network averages represent the fact that users have many different devices, and our data is therefore naturally weighted by device market share – as every user counts the same – giving a more accurate picture of the diversity of the UK’s mobile device usage. We feel our methodology complements the OfCom data, as it would be too time consuming to road-test using a full spread of devices and OfCom do not claim to be directly measuring the user experience, despite using a consumer device for their testing.

3) The location of tests: OfCom test both indoors and outdoors (a positive development from the days when network testing included almost no indoor tests) but they test 50% on each, which is not necessarily representative of typical use. Above all, by testing in areas of good connectivity (where all four networks are present) they are potentially skewing their results to the faster end.

4) Testing on EE ‘double speed’: OfCom ran their tests using the EE 4G ‘double speed’ sim (without fully explaining why, as they stated they intended to test both the ‘single’ and ‘double’ speed tariffs, but ended up only testing the faster one). Many EE 4G users are not on the faster speed tariff and so reported speeds for EE are only representative of the experience available to users who are paying for the faster data, and therefore possibly not representative of those who are paying for 4G LTE on EE on the ‘single speed’ network.

5) What OfCom are actually measuring: OfCom are not measuring the typical speeds users actually experience (and this is by design), and therefore overstate the speeds consumers are likely to get. This explains why we report the mobile networks to be slower on both 3G  and 4G than OfCom, as our testing is directly measuring performance as experienced by users rather than modelling it based on controlled tests.

6) Lack of Coverage data: OfCom rely on coverage data self-reported by the operators themselves, looking at the proportion of premises covered in the UK. This metric is an attempt to combine raw geographic coverage with is impact on users, but we feel that, in isolation, it is some way divorced from the actual availability of networks for consumers. OfCom cite our ‘time on’ metric, which looks at the proportion of time users have a connection, as an alternative metric for coverage and we feel it is entirely complementary to the more traditional geographic metrics used by OfCom, as it helps put the ‘premises’ figure into perspective. OfCom’s testing methodology is not able to gather accurate data on coverage, and this means that their report on network performance cannot be entirely complete, as it only records data from where all networks are present. While differences in performance are right to be noted, and can be significant, what is more significant is the actual availability of the network itself.

The rise of independent reporting is vital for the on-going success of a competitive mobile market in the UK, and we feel that OfCom’s report is important for bringing questions of network performance to the forefront of consumers’ minds. We do, however, believe that additional useful and up-to-date information can be made available to consumers through additional techniques, such as crowdsourcing, and would encourage the OfCom [pdf] and OpenSignal reports to be read side-by-side to paint a more complete picture of the current state of network provision in the United Kingdom.

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