The road inspector is out on his daily inspection tour. He spots a damaged road sign, but the traffic situation does not allow him stop immediately. Instead he uses PlaceMemo to save the geographical position and record a voice-memo, so that he won’t forget about it like he always used to do. Later the same week, before heading out on the same stretch of road, he listens through the memos. The map gives him a rough idea of where the reported malfunction is situated, and by reviewing the message he knows what equipment to bring. Back on the road he concentrates on identifying new faults. When approaching the location of the broken road sign, he can hear the memo played in its entirety just before he reaches the broken sign. He gently decreases the speed of the truck and comes to a halt without jeopardizing other drivers, and then gets out to mend the sign.The PlaceMemo prototype is being developed to facilitate infrastructure management tasks, like identifying, reporting and taking care of malfunctions along the roads. The vast working area of road inspectors makes it hard to remember all the identified defects and organise the work to fix them. This system enables the inspectors to associate memos to geographical locations along the roads. Our design supports the simultaneous handling of reporting and receiving reminders while driving. Additionally, the memos could easily be shared among colleagues, for instance to enable job rotation. We are interested in the development of innovative mobile services, and in acquiring knowledge on how to take advantage of different contextual factors. The design choices were based on the requirements discovered in an ethnographic field study, and the service is based on handheld mobile devices equipped with GPS-receivers. PlaceMemo is interesting from a commercial perspective, since there are many occupational groups working with infrastructure management in vast settings. We have started initial work towards commercialisation of the concept.


Esbjörnsson, M. (2006). From Ethnography on Infrastructure Management to Initial User Feedback on PlaceMemo. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (Theme issue on Interactive Mobile Information Access). Springer Verlag, vol. 10, no. 4, pp 195-204.
[PDF] – Journal paper

Esbjörnsson, M. (2005). Enhanced Social Interaction in Traffic. PhD thesis. Studies in Applied Information Technology. IT University of Göteborg.
[PhD thesis site]

Normark Vesterlind, D. and Esbjörnsson, M. (2004). The Mobile Workplace: Collaboration in a Vast Setting. In (ed. Mikael Wiberg), The Interaction Society: Practice, Theories and Supportive Technologies. Information Science Publishing, pp 251-270.
[PDF] – Book chapter

Esbjörnsson, M. (2002). Application Oriented Research on Leisure- and Work-Activities in a Truly Mobile Setting. In Conference supplement of CSCW’02 – ACM 2002 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. ACM Press, pp 29-30.
[PDF] – Short paper (doctoral colloquium)
[PPT] – Presentation

Esbjörnsson, M. and Vesterlind, D. (2002). Finding a Space for the Mobile Workplace. In Proceedings of The Third Wireless World Conference: The Social Shaping of Mobile Futures, Location! Location!, 2002.
[PDF] – Workshop paper
[PPT] – Presentation

Esbjörnsson, M. and Juhlin, O. (2002). PlaceMemo – Supporting Mobile Articulation in a Vast Working Area Through Position Based Information. In Proceedings of ECIS’02 – The 10th European Conference on Information Systems. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdanskiego, pp 1185-1196.
[PDF] – Full paper
[PPT] – Presentation

Esbjörnsson, M. and Vesterlind, D. (2002). Mobility and Social Spatiality. In (eds. Hård, M., Lösch, A. and Verdicchio, D.) Transforming Spaces: The Topological Turn in Technology Studies. Chapter 16.
[PDF] – Extended abstract
[PDF] – Presentation
[PDF] – Workshop paper

Esbjörnsson, M. and Brunnberg, L. (2001). PlaceMemo: Using GPS and Mobile Computers to Augment the Roads. Presented at Nordic Interactive Conference.
[PDF] – Short paper

Esbjörnsson, M. (2001). Work in Motion: Interpretation of Defects along the Roads. In Proceedings of IRIS24 – the 24th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia. CD-ROM.
[PDF] – Workshop paper

Esbjörnsson, M. (2001). Mobile Reporting: Supporting Road Inspectors. In Proceedings of Interact’01 – IFIP TC. 13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. IOS Press, pp 747-748.
[PDF] – Poster

Esbjörnsson, M. (2000). Roadguards Assisted by Mobile Technology. In Proceedings of NordiCHI’00 – The 1st Nordic Conference on Computer-Human Interaction. Stockholm, Sweden. CD-ROM.
[PDF] – Poster

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