Our target in this project was to enhance the much needed process of documenting Hajj & Umrah by a low-cost data collection approach. Our approach had to complement the existing advanced efforts with a large added value. The reasoning behind our approach was to outsource the data collection process to the crowd itself, i.e., to pilgrims and other participants.
Accordingly, we had to develop incentives for Hajj & Umrah participants to actively contribute to the data collection for documentation and feedback about their experiences. In addition, we had to provide software tools that allow for collecting appropriate data and then for processing and browsing the collected data.
In details, the main technical objectives and deliverables of the HajjDoc project were:
• Efficiently collecting geo-tagged, fine-grained data of varied types (images, video and audio clips along with elementary sensor data) during Hajj & Umrah on resource restricted smart phones,
• Efficiently uploading the data to a central massive storage platform (during or after pilgrimage trip), and
• Sharing the collected data among the different authorities for analysis and continuous Hajj & Umrah improvement.
In order to simplify the collection and use of the collected data, it is crucial to (a) enforce specific data structures, and (b) provide user-friendly (appropriate even for elderly and average users), resource-aware software to capture and store data on common computing platforms.
From the beginning on, we were aware about potential limitations of our approach such as quality of collected data, and privacy/security concerns. For the former concern, we explicitly planned to develop techniques that allow to explicitly consider the quality of collected data.
To address the latter concern, we decided to use and develop only open source components so transparency can be verified and certified.
As a proof of concept, we planned to do a field experiment during Hajj season 2011, to collect real data and to thoroughfully verify the HajjDoc data collection process.
In order to disseminate the project results, we targeted organizing a local workshop and publishing a scientific paper along with this final project report.