In this thesis I present a study of a route planning system within the field of Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), based on a case within the Accessibility field. A route planner client running on mobile phones has been developed and tested in a close to real world setting. Users provide feedback about accessibility along routes suggested by the route planner, and this influences the route planning algorithm running on a server, providing improved routes over time.
From a CSCW perspective, the work focuses on the individual users’ perspective, and how they interact with the system, how they make their decisions, and their reflections on own activities. I take an interpretative approach to describe and understand user rationales for action, and the negotiation of meaning of the traces left behind from use.
The case is that of wheelchair users navigating built and urban environments. The thesis includes work describing existing practices for planning and undertaking such trips, as well as potential consequences of introducing new technology to an already challenging task. The project is based on the OurWay concept of accessibility mapping, where users get a central role in providing the accessibility information based on which the route planning is performed. This contrasts with the established top-down approach to collection and use of this type of information.
The main theoretical contribution of this thesis is the development of a theory of Transient Cooperation. To do this, I build on the concepts of groups, cooperation, and negotiation. First, I review these concepts and how they are applied within the CSCW and Accessibility literature, before I discuss how the same concepts apply to observed use of the OurWay prototype. Further, I promote the extension of the term cooperation to include ad-hoc and implicit forms of co-activity, and argue that this perspective has applications not only in the specific case of accessibility mapping, it can also be applied to other aspects of systems involving user generated content.
Negotiation, in particular, is central to the discussion of Transient Cooperation. Relationships between individuals, groups, technology, information, and the meaning of action is continuously negotiated by the users. Generalization of the concept of Transient Cooperation is discussed, and practical implications following this idea are presented, both specifically in the case of accessibility mapping, and in the more general case of cooperation through the use of (mobile) ICT.
The aim of proposing the theory of Transient Cooperation is to present ideas to inform design, deployment and situated use of ICT, particularly in the mobile ICT and social web era, and generally to the use of ICT in cooperation between individuals.
List of papers. Papers in this thesis are listet as Appendix A - Appendix E. Appendix B and D are removed due to copyright restrictions.
Paper / Appendix A Holone, H., Misund G., and Holmstedt, H. (2007) Users Are Doing It For Themselves: Pedestrian Navigation with User Generated Content. Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies (NGMAST 2007). doi:10.1109/NGMAST.2007.4343406
Paper / Appendix B Holone, H., Misund, G., Tolsby, H., and Kristoffersen, S. (2008) Aspects of Personal Navigation with Collaborative User Feedback. Proceedings of the Fifth Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Building Bridges (NordiCHI 2008). doi:10.1145/1463160.1463180
Paper / Appendix C Holone, H. (2009) Retrospective Altruism and Transient Cooperation in Accessibility Mapping. In: Mihala¸s, G., Saka, O., Blobel, B., Gülkesen, K. H., Mazzoleni, C., Pharow, P. (editors): Selected Papers from European Federation for Medical Informatics Special Topic Conference (EFMI STC 2009), “Travel Health Informatics and Telehealth”, Antalya, Turkey, November 2009.
Paper / Appedix D Holone, H., and Herstad, J. (2010) Transient Cooperation in Social Applications for Accessiblity Mapping. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP 2010). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2010, Volume 6179/2010, 208-215. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-14097-6_34
Paper / Appendix 5 Holone, H., and Herstad, J. (2010) Negotiating Privacy Boundaries in Social Applications for Accessibility Mapping” Proceedings of the Sixth Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2010). doi:10.1145/1868914.1868942