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WESENSE

How can I participate?

First, please download the free app to your iPhone. We will then ask you to provide some basic demographic and health-related information, and confirm some settings in order to sign up.

After that, you will be alerted at random times on your iPhone to fill out a short survey. You can choose how often and when you would like to be alerted in the settings. The notification will prompt you to briefly report how you perceive your surroundings and—in very broad terms—who you're with, where you are, and what you're doing. If you are outdoors, you may even upload a photo of your surroundings.

Additionally, you may open the app and report on your feelings and surroundings any time and as often as you’d like.

How long does it take?

The sign-up process should take no more than 5 minutes. The daily reports on your surroundings will take about two minutes. You can take part in this study for as long (or as short a time) as you’d like.

What data will I be sharing?

While you report your feelings and situation, the app will use your iPhone's GPS (sat-nav) to discover your approximate location. After responding, the app will send the answers, location data and photo (if you took one) to our secure data store.

What will you do with this data?

We'll use it solely for our academic research. We'll apply statistical methods to the combined responses from everyone taking part.

We'll use the location data to estimate what the environment was like in the places where people responded. And we'll be looking at the effect of this on people's feelings, while controlling for some other potential influences.

If you're curious to see what we find, please come back to this website from time to time: we'll be posting results here. We also hope to present our findings in academic journals and at conferences, and to make sure policy-makers are aware of anything important.

In any case, we'll never report any individual's responses — only information at the group level.

And the photos?

When you take a photo we may try to classify it, either manually or using a computer program, to add extra information about your immediate surroundings (for example, are there trees visible?). Please note that the photos you contribute may be displayed on this website. For privacy reasons, please avoid photographing people.

Is it anonymous?

Yes, we don't ask for your name or for any other identifying information, and we don't need your phone number to send notifications to your iPhone.

Is it confidential?

Yes, we won't disclose your data to any third party unless (1) we're required by law to do so, or (2) we do so under a strict contractual agreement with other academic researchers, exclusively for the purpose of academic research at a recognised institution.

Is it secure?

Yes. All communication between the app and our data store is over an SSL-encrypted connection, the same kind used for online banking and shopping. Data is stored on firewalled and fully updated servers.

Is it easy to get out of?

Yes, taking part is completely voluntary and you can withdraw or pause using the app at any time and without giving a reason. To stop, just delete the app from your iPhone. You could also ask us to delete all your data from our data store. Alternatively, you can pause or stop alerts by changing your notifications within the app’s Settings.

How much data does it use?

WeSense will not use much of your data allowance. Responding to a notification generally uses as much data as sending a brief email (around 1KB). If you're outdoors and take a picture, it's more like viewing a simple web page (50 – 150KB).

So if you respond to two alerts per day, and you take a photo on 50% of these occasions, you'll use about 3MB per month. You may want to turn off data when you're abroad (roaming), though, as this can sometimes be very expensive — your data will be queued for sending on your return.

I'm not in Amsterdam — can I take part?

You're welcome to, but we may not use your data in our research.

I have another question …

Great. Please get in touch: info@wesense.info.