Measuring bumps on the road with Android

I used my Android phone to capture some vertical acceleration and positioning data on the road between Athens and Patras, using the AndroSensor app.

I pasted the data into a Google Docs spreadsheet and then used Google's heatmap layers to produce a heatmap of vertical acceleration on the road. I've also added some markers for the locations where the vertical acceleration exceeds 3m/s2.

It seems that the road is in a bad condition between Patras and Corinth, where the private contractors began work on upgrading the road in 2008 and abandoned these shortly after, until very recently. The maximum acceleration reaches 1.5g, i.e. making our body feel as if it weighed 1.5 times its weight. That's like adding 2.5kg on the top of one's head. It sure explains why after driving on that road I feel very tired!

It's fun to see how citizens equipped with little more than their everyday phones can become an active source of information on what's going on in public life.

Some technical stuff:

I used this excellent video on how to get data from Google Spreadsheets onto a Map
You can see the script code snippets for the required export script here

I also used the OSX Modal Dialog sample code from this site.

View the data here: