EcoPath: Adding Spatial, Social, and Gaming Contexts to Personal Tracking Systems

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Social Code Report 2010-01


Computer Science


While many people desire to track aspects of their daily lives in order to live more sustainably, they may need support to sustain their own tracking efforts and to make meaning of their behaviors. Adding supplementary contexts (intellectual frames) to personally tracked data—such as a spatial context, a social context, or even a gaming context—can help to promote personal tracking and encourage continuous and varied sustainable behaviors. We have developed EcoPath, a mobile game in which users track the locations of their green activities (such as riding a bike or recycling trash), connecting these sites to define "paths" of sustainability. In the EcoPath game, users compete with friends over territory defined by their paths, thus adding a social gaming context to their actions as they make environmentally responsible choices. By adding spatial, social, and gaming contexts to tracking actions, this pervasive game may be an enjoyable way to help people maintain their personal tracking and sustainable behaviors over time.