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 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.
CSCW2020 June submission results were just released (link), and we were incredibly excited to find out that our paper entitled "Urban Accessibility as a Socio-Political Problem: A Multi-Stakeholder Analysis" was accepted with minor revisions. Of the 593 submissions, only 47 were chosen for 'Minor Revision' (7.9%) and 273 for 'Major Revisions' (46.0%).
Through semi-structured interviews with five stakeholder groups, we examine the socio-political challenges surrounding accessible infrastructure development. The paper has some important findings around policy making, gentrification, and urban development tensions related to accessibility and extends and complements our broader research in this area (e.g., Project Sidewalk).
Congrats to lead PhD student Manaswi Saha and the rest of the team!