Project Sidewalk featured in the local news!
Published Nov 17, 2016
Makeability Lab member Manaswi Saha was an invited keynote speaker to the Washingtion State Ridesharing Organization (WSRO) conference. She gave a talk on Project Sidewalk entitled Project Sidewalk: Mapping the accessibility of the physical world at scale using interactive computational tools. Congrats Manaswi and thanks for representing the Project Sidewalk team.
With the recent Seattle and Newberg launch of Project Sidewalk, we have been getting a lot of media attention. Here are a few articles so far (many more to come!): Newberg streets second in nation to be studied with new accessibility metric (The Newberg Graphic, April 2019) Seattle's got terrible sidewalks. You can help fix them. (Crosscut, April 2019)
Transportation Techies DC had hosted their second WalkHackNight in Crystal City. Project Sidewalk team was honored to be invited to give a talk at this event. It is the second time for Project Sidewalk to be presenting at this event.
We were honored to participate in the inaugural Diversity in Computing Summit. Makeability Lab and Inclusive Design Lab members presented a joint session on their accessibility research. The session, entitled "Interactive Computational Tools for Accessibility," covered work on Project Sidewalk (by Manaswi Saha), Temporal Tracking of Accessibility Features in Cities (by Ladan Najafizadeh) , Health and Fitness for the Mobility Impaired (by Meethu Malu), Accessible On-body Interaction for the Visually Impaired (by Uran Oh) and HandSight (by Lee Stearns). Talk slides are available here.
Congratulations to Maryam Hosseini on their successful PhD defense on semi-automatic sidewalk assessments. Wonderful work. Terrific presentation. Beautiful slides.
Our work together played but a small role in this incredibly impactful research:
Hosseini, M., Saugstad, M., Miranda, F., Sevtsuk, A., Silva, C. T., Froehlich, J. E. (2022). Towards Global-Scale Crowd+AI Techniques to Map and Assess Sidewalks for People with Disabilities. CVPR2020 Workshop: Accessibility, Vision, and Autonomy (AVA). DOI: https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2206.13677
Together with Professor Fabior Miranda from the University of Illinois, Chicago and Maryam Hosseini from Rutgers/NYU, we ran a mini-symposium session on the The Future of Global-Scale Spatial Data Collection and Analyses on Urban (in)Accessibility for People with Disabilities at the 2nd Spatial Data Science Symposium 2021.
In our session, we brought together experts in disability, human mobility, urban planning, and computer science to discuss state-of-the-art methods for measuring the quality, condition, and accessibility of urban infrastructure, how these methods may enable new types of geospatial analysis and visualization, and the possibilities for data-driven policy change and accessible urban development. Our overarching goal was to identify open challenges, share current work across disciplines, and spur new collaborations.
We had over 50 participants join and a set of lightning talks from Anat Caspi and Nick Bolten from UW, Roberto M. Cesar Jr. and Eric K. Tokuda, from the University of São Paulo, Holger Dieterich and Sebastian Felix Zappe from Sozialhelden, Victor Pineda from the Inclusive Cities Lab and Worldenabled.org, Yochai Eisenberg from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Andres Sevtsuk from UW.
Froehlich, J. E., Miranda, F., Hosseini, M., Bolten, N., Caspi, A., Cesar Jr., R. M., Dieterich, H., Eisenberg, Y., Pineda, V., Saha, M., Saugstad, M., Sevtsuk, A., Silva, C. T., Tokuda, E. K., Zappe, S. F. (2021). The Future of Global-Scale Spatial Data Collection and Analyses on Urban (in)Accessibility for People with Disabilities. Spatial Data Science Symposium 2021.
Congratulations to Manaswi Saha for successfully passing her General Exam on "Designing Interactive Computational Tools for Understanding Urban Accessibility at Scale." Thanks to committee members Bill Howe, Jeff Heer, Bo Zhao, and Anat Caspi.
More pictures here.
We are incredibly excited and proud of PhD student Manaswi Saha, who was just honored with the 2020 Google PhD Fellowship for her work on Project Sidewalk and urban accessibility. Congrats Manaswi on this well-deserved recognition for your important work.
An excerpt of the official blurb from the Allen School News website:
Saha, who is one of 53 students throughout the world to be selected for a Google Fellowship, will use those tools to fill an informational gap between citizens and the local government and stakeholders showing where improvements in sidewalks need to be made to make them accessible to all.
“Since the beginning of my academic career, my research interests have been towards socially impactful projects. Public service, especially for underrepresented communities, runs in my family,” Saha said. “The driving force for the work I do stems from my role model, my father, who dedicated his life towards rural and agricultural development in India. His selfless efforts inspired me to explore how technology can be used for the betterment of society. With this goal in mind, I set out to do my Ph.D. with a focus on high-value social problems.”
Saha works with Froehlich in the Makeability Lab on one of its flagship ventures, Project Sidewalk. The project has two goals: to develop and study data collection methods for acquiring street-level accessibility information using crowdsourcing, machine learning, and online map imagery and to design and develop navigation and map tools for accessibility.