Battelle, the world's largest nonprofit research and development organization, is seeking volunteers to participate in a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of iPhone and Facebook apps for use in a national Government survey to characterize travel behaviors of U.S. households. If you are planning to travel at least 50 miles (one-way) from your home location by June 30, 2013 and own either an iPhone or Facebook account you are eligible to participate in this pilot!
Your participation requires the installation of either a iPhone or Facebook app that will send notification of when a trip of at least 50 miles from your home location has been taken, as determined by a ZIP code entered during registration. You will also be prompted to complete a short survey asking basic information about that trip. The apps are designed to reduce the burden associated with participating in travel surveys, while also improving the quality of data received from them. Regardless if you plan to take one "long distance" trip or many through June 30, your input will help shape the use of innovative data capture technologies in future national travel surveys.
To register for participation in this pilot, please select a link below for either the iPhone or Facebook app. Please install only one app, either Facebook or iPhone. Before heading out on your next long distance trip here are a few items to keep in mind:
**Registration and submission of at least one long distance trip survey is required for eligibility to enter the iTunes gift card drawing. A total of five $25 iTunes gift cards will be awarded based on a random drawing conducted at the conclusion of the pilot study. A valid e-mail address is required. Battelle staff are not eligible for this drawing.
- In no way does either app track or record your precise location. Both apps recognize your home location, when you enter your home ZIP code during registration, and detect if you have traveled at least 50 miles from your home location at any given time.
The iPhone app utilizes the built in GPS function to periodically determine distance from your home location. Although your current location is displayed within the embedded map, your GPS coordinates are not transmitted. The only information transmitted is the data and time of the event when you are 50 miles or more from your home location.
With your authorization, the Facebook app accesses your posts (e.g., photos and status) that are posted to your wall and news feed. In order to determine distance from your home location, specified by the ZIP code entered during registration, it is necessary to tag your location within the post. Regardless if you are currently on a long distance trip or already back home, if you post and tag your location the Facebook app calculates your distance based on known GPS coordinates for that posted location and determines if your trip was 50 miles or more from the registered home location. Again, beyond your location tag, Facebook does not transmit GPS coordinates.
With the iPhone app, once a trip of 50 miles or more is detected or with the Facebook app after receiving a location tagged post that is 50 miles or more from your home location, the app will prompt you with a survey asking for basic information about that trip (e.g., method of travel, number of travelers, reason for travel, type of lodging).
Registration is required by both apps before you can begin using the app or are eligible to win an iTunes gift card. Registration includes entering your name, a ZIP code for your home location, e-mail address, phone number, and basic demographic information (age, gender, ethnicity). You will also be asked to provide formal consent to participant in the pilot study during registration. More information is provided with the apps.
If you travel often, consider using your selected app on all of your long distance trips. The pilot program will run through June 30, 2013. The more data that can be collected, the more helpful it will be in developing and assessing these technologies.