Summary of the nature of the project:

Compared to other large events such as Olympic games, Hajj&Umrah events regularly take place in the same geographic area, i.e., Makkah and Medina. Consequently, the organization of Hajj&Umrah events can significantly benefit from their strong regularities through a continuous learning and improvement process. To this end, the precise documentation of Hajj&Umrah is crucial. Due to the large crowd of millions of pilgrims authorities restrict their data collection to safety and security issues. In this project, we propose HajjDoc, a system to outsource the data collection to pilgrims themselves opening a new horizon for low-cost but detailed documentation of Hajj&Umrah.

Smart phones are becoming ubiquitous and are increasingly equipped with flexible networking and sensing capabilities. Also in the large pilgrims crowd more and more smart phones are available. In this project, we aim at developing software tools for most common Smart phone platforms so that pilgrims can install them on their phones for efficient and structured data collection during Hajj&Umrah. Thus, sensors integrated in smart phones could help monitor Hajj crowd behavior. We will develop a web portal to advertise the software and allow the pilgrims to upload the collected data and share it with Hajj&Umrah authorities, bodies etc. Besides providing the HajjDoc system to all pilgrims, the project team and a few volunteers will experiment with HajjDoc during Hajj 2011 using 6 dedicated smart phones to ensure the HajjDoc maturity.

We are convinced that the collected data will significantly help different authorities to improve their documentation of Hajj&Umrah. In addition, the collected data will represent an open worldwide reference of source information for Hajj&Umrah researcher and students who can analyze and investigate the data for specific investigations and publications. Accordingly, we emphasize that our project addresses the key call topics “Measurement”, “User Experience”, and “Understanding & Modeling Flow Process”.


We target in this project to enhance the much needed process of documenting Hajj&Umrah by a low-cost data collection approach. Our approach complements the existing advanced efforts, while having an expected large added value. The reasoning behind our approach is to outsource the data collection process to the crowd itself. Accordingly, we develop incentives for Hajj&Umrah participants to actively contribute to the data collection for documentation and feedback about their experiences. We provide software tools for collecting, processing and browsing the collected data.

In details, the main technical objectives and deliverables of this proposal are:

  • Efficiently collecting geo-tagged, fine-grained data of varied types (images, video and audio clips along with elementary sensor data) during Hajj&Umrah on resource-restricted smart phones.
  • Efficiently uploading the data to a central massive storage platform (during or after pilgrimage trip), and Sharing the collected data among the different authorities for analysis and continuous Hajj&Umrah improvement.