Francesco Weikmann wins a prize promoted by the United Nations and the European Commission
The software developed, which enables the involvement of citizens to improve data collection on urban cycling, came in second at the Open Source Software for Sustainable Development Goals – Sustainable Cities & Communities (OSS4SDG) competition organized by the EU and the UN
The prize was awarded on December 7, 2022 during an online ceremony that saw the presentation of the projects by the 8 finalists.
Bikingimprover is the name of the app developed by Francesco Weikmann and Maurizio Napolitano with the collaboration of FBK’s researcher Antonio Bucchiarone that won the second prize, worth 2,500 euros, as part of the OSS4SDG competition – Open Source Software for Sustainable Development Goals – geared toward the development of applications to support sustainable communities and cities (one of the goals of the sustainable development agenda) organized by the United Nations and the European Commission.
It is a fun system for urban planning: an urban game designed to collect data and allow stakeholders to improve the use of bicycles in the city context.
“Francesco Weikmann, at the time, was a student at the University of Trento,” said Maurizio Napolitano, head of the DCL (Digital Commons Lab) Unit at Fondazione Bruno Kessler and one of the developers of the project, “who, when he was nearing the end of his studies in computer science, knocked on my door for an internship that could evolve into a thesis. He came to me through Luca Turchet, a lecturer of the Human Computer Interaction course at the Department of Engineering and Information Science, University of Trento, who often sends students to work with me at FBK’s DCL unit.”
“Combining the knowledge of myself, Luca and Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s MODIS unit Antonio Bucchiarone with his insights, he decided to develop a project that would help public administrations have up-to-date data by getting people to play.”
The result is a smartphone app that presents a series of geolocated questions to be answered in order to collect data (from OpenStreetMap) for the purpose of use in the city. The goal is to organize “Mapathons” (mapping marathons) where participants go around the city answering questions that will add to the cycling infrastructure data or will validate what has already been collected, obtaining points to receive rewards later.
“We liked the idea so much,” Napolitano adds, “and, as soon as we saw the challenge promoted by the United Nations and the European Commission on open source solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals with a track on OpenStreetMap-based applications, we didn’t think twice and decided to give it a try thanks also to the support of Riccardo Nanni, another FBK researcher.”