Media

An app to identify safe zones in a city

What makes public spaces safer for women? Undoubtedly, increased budgetary spending on safety measures is critical. However, the recent 2015 Union Budget, which has doubled its outlay on women’s safety issues without having come up with adequate schemes to utilise the funds, begs the question: are expensive schemes the only way to make our public spaces women-friendly? Safetipin, a free smartphone app, demonstrates that it takes relatively cheap technology and a great deal of ingenuity to take the issue of women’s safety to the one place they can best control — their own hands.Started in 2013 by techie Ashish Basu and Kalpana Vishwanath, prominent women’s rights activist and ex-head of Jagori, Safetipin is an app that uses a mix of crowdsourcing and in-house safety audits to allow users to plot their locations on a map and see its safety score. While the green pins on the map indicate places that are well populated, brightly lit and close to public transport, red pins flag unsafe zones. “Users can check the app on their phones to make safer choices. It also allows them to choose to be tracked by a trusted relative or friend when they feel the need to,” says Vishwanath. Once logged in, users can conduct their own “safety audits” that are based on specific quantitative parameters like street lights, a number of women in the public space, how visible one is to others and the distance to public transport. “The safety audit also includes a qualitative parameter, with regards to how safe the user actually feesl,” says Vishwanath. Safetipin’s 6,000-odd audits so far (mostly in Delhi NCR but in pilot stages in nine Indian and three world cities) have yielded interesting data inputs for urban planners and the government. “We have found that, by and large, women’s perceptions of safety are based on some criteria — the level of lighting in the area (well-lit places “feel” safer), the gender diversity in the area (places with women around are perceived as less threatening) and the degree of visibility (places where the woman is in plain sight of others are generally considered better than secluded spots).“When we audited six Delhi Transport Corporation bus terminals on these parameters, we suggested that more seating inside the terminal would encourage more people, especially women, elderly and children to wait there. Public toilets and street vendors inside the terminals would also ensure steady traffic, making them safer places on the whole,” says Vishwanath. “Over time, the data we collect could be useful to NGOs for advocacy for safer spaces, as well as to the government for designing them better,” she says....Article Source. Download Safetipin App From Google Play Store..... Personal & Women Safety App Download Safetipin App From Apple Play Store......Personal & Women Safety App

Safety Auditing of Hyderabad done by VOICE 4 Girls using Safetipin App

Hyderabad: City-based non-profit organisation VOICE 4 Girls has partnered with the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad to raise awareness around gender-based violence among college students and government school girls in the city. The three- month project included awareness building workshops and a safety audit of public spaces in the Hyderabad. As part of the audit, college students from seven colleges in the city mapped hazards, harassment and public amenities in the city on a smartphone application called Safetipin. This data has been covered over the period of one month and presents a good picture of the safety scenario in the city. A meet to discuss the findings has been organized on December 5. This event will also mark the end of the project and the UN's '16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence'. Andrew Mc Allister, the British Deputy High Commissioner of Hyderabad will be the Chief Guest at the event. The conference will also be attended by Swati Lakra, SHE Team, Hyderabad Police, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Ex- Vice Chancellor, Hyderabad Central University, Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala, Anant Maringanti, Hyderabad Urban Lab, Reddy Prakash, UNICEF and Aisha Mahmood Farooqi, President of Anveshi Research Centre....Article Source Download Safetipin App from Goole Play Store.... Personal & Women Safety App Download Safetipin App from Apple Play Store....Personal & Women Safety App

SafetiPin, an App to Create Safe Cities and Prevent Harassment

Safetipin is a free application created in New Delhi (India), to try to create safer cities for women through public participation. The status of women in India is especially hard because, according to the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, one woman is raped every 20 minutes . This app was launched in November 2013 and so far has been downloaded more than 10,000 times in that country. The experience has been so successful it has continued moving through Latin America. Colombia, where every 14 minutes a woman is attacked by her partner, was the first country to adopt this tool to geotag public information in the streets of Bogota. After this city has continued to experience moving to other countries to achieve make cities safer for women counting on your collaboration and experience places. This application registers information related to citizen safety rates experienced by users and evaluating the most dangerous areas and thus working for the right of women to freely walk the streets without fear for their safety. Safetipin closely encourages the cooperation of the citizens with their governments providing real time information to all sectors interested in improving this situation as tourism-related entrepreneurs, traders or governments own time. In Bogotá this application was part of a project of the Secretariat for Women , specifically in districts protection of women victims of violence (SOFIA) to provide greater protection for women in the Colombian capital. Kalpana Viswanath ( @ SafetipinApp ), researcher and activist in the field of urban security and gender, co-founder of the tool, pointing at El Espectador its intention to develop the app in 10 other Indian cities. The information collected is delivered to the police, they work closely together to "increase security in areas requiring priority attention and better lighting." This tool uses 8 categories ranging from inappropriate comments to groping and indecent exposure, conditions that disproportionately affect women. The operation of the tool is simple because users only have to submit reports assessing the places you have lived a situation of harassment, thus avoiding certain areas considered dangerous. This content is poured into a geographic information map to visualize quickly the safest areas of the city...Article source. Download Safetipin App Google Play Store...... Safetipin: Complete Safety App Download Safetipin Apple Store..... Safetipin: Complete Safety App

Download: SafetiPin (Android, iOS)

For a while now, popular app repositories have seen quite a drastic spike up in the number of "safety" apps. Most of them don’t work as well as advertised (check out our review of FightBack here), or are just poorly implemented because of lack of resources (data connectivity, location tracking, unstable OS, etc), here's one more added to the list.This one, however, claims to be a bit different — the SafetiPin app suggests that it is more of a neighbourhood watch thing. You can create your ‘Circles of Interest’ and follow any post, just like that in Google+ and you can pin pictures, just like with Pinterest. And to make this a fun social experiment, you can add posts with pictures; and comment on what others put up as well. Check out the download details below:Publisher: Ashish Basu / SafetiPinPrice: FreePlatforms: iOS, AndroidSize: 6.4 MB - 20.3 MBDownload URLs: iOS - Safetipin: Complete Safety App Android - Safetipin: Complete Safety App

Uber drivers will mount cameras on their cars for crowdsourced neighborhood safety project

Uber is making moves to boost its security credentials today with the news that it’s partnering with Safetipin, a crowdsourced community service that collates safety-related data submitted by the public. The company says it will look to “contribute to Safetipin’s data collection efforts” by training its own drivers to work in tandem with Safetipin’s auditors. Uber’s drivers will collect data at night using camera-enabled smartphones, which will be mounted to the exterior of their cars to capture photos of neighborhoods and roads. Each snap will then be tagged based on nine key attributes to arrive at an overall safety score, including: lighting, visibility, openness, security, walk-path, and gender diversity. This marks part of Uber’s bigger shift toward working on its reputation, after Uber was banned in Delhi, India following rape allegations made against a driver late last year. The woman in question is now suing the company in a U.S. court. The fruits of this Safetipin partnership will first be seen in India’s New Delhi before arriving in “other global markets” later this year, including Bogotá, Colombia and Nairobi, Kenya. Circles of interestSafetipinSafetipin is a map-based smartphone app that invites users to rank communities’ safety credentials and discuss all things “security” pertaining to their neighbourhoods. Safetipin itself launched in Delhi back in 2013, but it can be used anywhere in the world. Users set up what are known as “Circles of Interest,” which typically would be a neighborhood, but could also be a university campus or place of work. Anyone can then post comments to these circles, which can include things like incidents, hazards, harassments, or even a “bad feeling.” Users can also upload photographs to supplement these comments. This data is used to help promote safety for women and other groups. So-called “safety audits” are made available not only to the general public, but also to governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders. Safety and planningUber says it will also work directly with governments and town planners to work on new projects based on this data, which may involve things like erecting new streetlights.... Article Source....VentureBeat

‘Safetipin’ Identifies Unsafe Spots for Women in City

KOCHI: The students of Sacred Heart college has prepared an audit report of the areas in the city which are unsafe for women. The report was prepared using the app ‘Safetipin’. It concludes that security of women is at risk in some of the main spots in the city, including Thevara, Karikkamuri, Elamkulam, Shenoys, Marine Drive, Ernakulam South and Vennala. The safety audit report was released at the college on Friday. Sacred Heart College principal Fr Prasant Palackapillil handed over the audit review to Muhammed Rafeeq, DCP (Administration and crime). The app, ‘SafetiPin’, is a map-based free mobile safety app which uses crowd-sourced information to prepare safety audits. Users and professionally trained auditors can provide safety-related information in the app. It consists of a set of nine parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety in a region. Each audit using the app results in a pin on the specific location where the audit was performed. It also records the time and date of each audit. The event was jointly organised by Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre and SH School of Communication. Police authorities, lawyers, corporation officials, Kochi Metro representatives and students shared their concern at the function. Corporation Town Planning Standing Committee Chairman K J Sohan stated the need of such ventures like ‘Safetipin’ for safer cities and pledged support for the implementation of such projects in the city. Babu Joseph, Director of SH School of Communication, Shana Susan Ninan, Surakshitha Kochi Programme Coordinator, Mini Dileep and Seena Teacher, Corporation Councillors, Anna M, Safetipin programme coordinator, Rejitha, representative from Sakhi,Beena Sebastian, Cultural Academy for Peace, and Jyothi Narayanan attended the event....Article Source....Newindianexpress.com

Safetipin: A new Mobile App for Women's Safety

New DELHI: In the wake of concerns being raised on security of women in cities, a researcher on women issues and a technology entrepreneur have joined hands to launch a mobile application, Safetipin, which provides safety-related information collected by users.Safetipin is a map-based mobile phone app, that crowdsources and maps information about safety in neighbourhood and cities.The app, which is available to Android and iPhone users, is free to use and is available on the App Store and Google Play.The app was launched today in the national capital, by its co-founders Kalpana Viswanath and Ashish Basu.Speaking at the launch Basu said: "The app gives people a way to engage with their neighbourhood and communities on important issues."..Article Source....TOI

Map Places And Secure Your City With a ‘Safetipin’

The city is often touted as the safest metropolis, but a number of residents will tell you there are parts of Chennai where one would definitely feel unsafe. So which are the ‘good’ neighbourhoods, and which are the ‘bad’? And what can be done about them? To conduct a safety audit of the city, and physically map spaces on a safety scale, city-based NGO, Prajnya, has tied up with ‘Safetipin’, a mobile and online platform that collects information about safety in cities by engaging individuals. “So far, we have conducted 358 audits in the city, primarily in parts of Royapettah, Tambaram, Shenoy Nagar/Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur. We are hoping to reach 1,500 audits in the next six weeks but urgently need volunteers to help,” said Anupama Srinivasan, programme director, Prajnya. Once this number is reached, ‘Safetipin’ will be formally launched in Chennai so that users will have a database to begin with, she said. How this works is simple: between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., volunteers with a smartphone that has the ‘Safetipin’ app go to a location in the city, pin the spot on a map using GPS and then rate the spot. The parameters for rating include lighting, security, access to public transport and people around, and also a subjective ‘feeling’ of the place. Based on the audit, the location is given either a green (safe), amber (less safe) or red (unsafe) rating. The idea behind the initiative is two-fold. The primary aim is for residents, especially women and visitors to the city, to be able to see which locations are considered ‘unsafe’. Another aim is to collect the data and give it to civic authorities so they can remedy the situation — improve streetlighting in an area, for instance. Soon, said Kalpana Viswanath, co-founder of ‘Safetipin’, the audits per location will be aggregated and each neighbourhood will be given a rating. “The initiative is present in seven cities as of now, and has two international partnerships in Jakarta and Bogota,” she said. Ms. Viswanath said that while this is not an emergency app, it does have a tracking feature — if two people have the app on their phones, one can track the other’s progress on a journey from one point to another in the city, for instance. For 25-year-old Bezaleel Azariah, a volunteer who has completed 99 audits in Tambaram, the focus is on making the city safer. “It’s not just for women — it’s for men too. The audit takes just five minutes but it is an important and useful tool for cities,” he said. Article Source...The Hindu

How Safetipin is Making Cities Safer

There are certain neighbourhoods that you just can’t walk around in at night. It’s hard to explain, but the only thing you know is that being there leaves you with a creeping, niggling feeling. What makes people feel safe when they’re in a neighbourhood? The two founders of Safetipin, Ashish Basu and Kalpana Vishwanath, have narrowed safety down to nine factors: lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation in the area, and feeling. Safetipin crowdsources information on these nine factors in order to paint an accurate and transparent picture of cities.The first eight work as independent variables, or factors that are measured on their own in the physical world. The last, ‘feeling’, counts as a dependent variable and is observed in conjunction with the first eight. “To explain a tangible like ‘feeling’, you need backup data,” explains Ashish. “We use the preceding data to understand changes in it.” How Safetipin is making cities safer Once a certain number of these audits are conducted in an area, they are aggregated to create a ‘safety score’. Safety scores range from one to ten and are represented in that order by green, amber, or red pins. Audits can be shared on social networks and users can create ‘walls’ about certain areas that will then allow them to post info online like broken traffic lights and bad roads. These are all accessible on Safetipin’s app, which also provides access to information about amenities like 24-hour pharmacies and ATMs. Among other things, the app also acts as a GPS tracker. “It’s over-configured,” Ashish jokes. Article Source..... business-standard.com

Safetipin Makes The World Less Scary at Night

There are certain neighborhoods that you just can’t walk around in at night. It’s hard to explain, but the only thing you know is that being there leaves you with a creeping, niggling feeling. How do you report this feeling without sounding crazy? What makes people feel safe when they’re in a neighborhood? Wide streets? Bright lights? A certain number of cars? The two founders of Safetipin, Ashish Basu and Kalpana Vishwanath, have narrowed safety down to nine factors: lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation in the area, and feeling. Safetipin crowdsources information on these nine factors in order to paint an accurate and transparent picture of cities. The first eight work as independent variables, or factors that are measured on their own in the physical world. The last, “feeling”, counts as a dependent variable and is observed in conjunction with the first eight. “To explain a tangible like “feeling”, you need backup data,” explains Ashish. “We use the preceding data to understand changes in it.”Once a certain number of these audits are conducted in an area, they are aggregated to create a “safety score”. Safety scores range from one to ten and are represented in that order by green, amber, or red pins. Audits can be shared on social networks and users can create “walls” about certain areas that will then allow them to post info online like broken traffic lights and bad roads. These are all accessible on Safetipin’s app, which also provides access to information about amenities like 24-hour pharmacies and ATMs. Among other things, the app also acts as a GPS tracker. “It’s over-configured,” Ashish jokes. The app is available in English, Hindi, Bahasa, Spanish, and Mandarin and has had over 40,000 contributions. It eventually hopes to cover 100 cities across South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America and currently works in one city in each of these areas: Jakarta, Bogota, Nairobi, and Delhi.The difficult thing about crowdsourcing information is maintaining quantity and quality. In India, Safetipin has been launched in what is known as the country’s “rape capital”, Delhi. While that’s a horrible and degrading way to describe a city – as if rapes can be quantified and addressed in the same way that a certain number of startups can define a “startup capital” or a proliferation of food stalls can define a “street food capital” – the number of reported rapes in Delhi are more than anywhere else in the country. Reported cases doubled from 706 to 1,638 between 2012 and 2013. Last year saw 2,166 reported rape cases. However, it is important to remember that this does not necessarily mean that the number of rapes are increasing. In fact, it might actually be a positive thing – perhaps, more people are reporting rape cases than ever before. “More data is better data,” Ashish explains. “That was something important that we had to learn. You can’t have a sample size of two people telling you that an area is unsafe. You’re looking for more information.” Because it can be unattractive for a business to exist in an unsafe area, some people go so far as to lie on these services. In order to address this problem, Ashish explains that the amount of data that the app has is important. “If you look at it in pure mathematical terms, those who fabricate numbers will be outliers.” Of course, it’s not always easy to get these numbers. Particularly in apps that rely on social interaction like Safetipin, it can be difficult to motivate users to contribute. “The interesting trend was that many people would download the app but would then stop at one or two audits,” reminisces Ashish. “We tried everything from target groups to send out a rubric based set of questions. Eventually we found a bunch of volunteers who helped us crowdsource information.” With more contribution and change, however, the app has picked up. “That’s how behavior works on social networks,” says Ashish. “Once the ball gets rolling, it takes a lot to stop it.” Article Source....techinasia