Project Sidewalk: A Web Based Crowdsourcing Tool for Collecting Sidewalk Accessibility Data at Scale

Authors

Manaswi Saha, Michael Saugstad, Hanuma Teja Maddali, Aileen Zeng, Ryan Holland, Steven Bower, Aditya Dash, Sage Chen, Anthony Li, Kotaro Hara, Jon Froehlich

Abstract

We introduce Project Sidewalk, a new web-based tool that enables online crowdworkers to remotely label pedestrianrelated accessibility problems by virtually walking through city streets in Google Street View. To train, engage, and sustain users, we apply basic game design principles such as interactive onboarding, mission-based tasks, and progress dashboards. In an 18-month deployment study, 797 online users contributed 205,385 labels and audited 2,941 miles of Washington DC streets. We compare behavioral and labeling quality differences between paid crowdworkers and volunteers, investigate the effects of label type, label severity, and majority vote on accuracy, and analyze common labeling errors. To complement these findings, we report on an interview study with three key stakeholder groups (N=14) soliciting reactions to our tool and methods. Our findings demonstrate the potential of virtually auditing urban accessibility and highlight tradeoffs between scalability and quality compared to traditional approaches

[pdf]