Crowdmonitoring research at NDSM

From January, the NDSM wharf Foundation will launch a pilot study into visitor numbers at the NDSM wharf in collaboration with Tapp and Life-Electronic.

How much is the public space of the NDSM wharf actually used? Stichting NDSM-werf has entered into a collaboration with the city planners of Tapp on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam to answer this question for a specific part of the NDSM wharf, namely: de Y-helling. Using sensors that measure completely anonymously how many people visit a certain place by means of a specially developed algorithm, we count how many people enter and leave this specific area on the wharf. It is actually as if someone is tallying with pen and paper how many people pass each day; we call this ‘crowd monitoring’. No video images are stored in this process, this means visitors are not being recorded or filmed, but they are counted!

This way, we can manage this area of NDSM in a sustainable way and improve our services so that visitors can fully enjoy the NDSM wharf. The data collected on how many people visit the Y ramp is fully publicly accessible and updated in real time. You can find a summary of the insights below.


No personal data is stored with this crowdmonitoring system . We apply 3D sensors where the data is immediately anonymized. This is done through an algorithm trained to recognize the shape of people on registrations without storing any images. This allows the sensors to count how many people are present within a certain area without filming them and/or having to store images. Below you can see a visualization of what this looks like on the Johan Cruijff Boulevard in Amsterdam. The system detects the shape of persons, after which a count is made of the number of persons within the demarcated area. As shown below, faces are anonymized and thereafter no images are saved.

The design of the system is based on the values and principles laid down in the TADA manifesto on the responsible digital city. During the development and implementation of this system, the Responsible Sensor Toolkit was used, which was drawn up in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam. Therein we have completed the Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas  and we will update it as the research progresses. The sensors on the NDSM wharf can be found in the sensor register of Amsterdam, where you can also find all other active sensors in the city.

We understand that you may have questions, comments, or feedback for us about this study. You can reach us via [email protected] or call 020-4931070 to engage in a conversation or if you want more information about this project.

About Tapp

Tapp, based on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam, is a design cooperative consisting of scientists, architects and experts who are committed to modernizing urban areas and infrastructure. Together with partners such as the municipality of Amsterdam, AMS institute, Responsible Sensing Lab and Marineterrein Amsterdam, they develop new technologies and initiatives to make the city smarter and more liveable for now and in the future. Would you like to know more about Tapp and the projects they realize in Asterdam? Then click on the button below.

About Life-Electronic

Life-Electronic realizes end-to-end innovation projects from design to production. They work together with small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s), companies and governments such as the municipality of Amsterdam to bring new ideas to life with (new) technologies.


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