Delivering Edinburgh: Uncovering the Digital Geography of Platform Labour in the City

 

This project explores the hidden geography of the on-demand food delivery platform, Deliveroo, in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Core Methods

This project uses mixed methods: qualitative research (twenty five interviews with riders) and original digital data, gathered through smartphone apps and a custom-made mapping workflow, which was developed in collaboration with student researchers and used by Deliveroo riders to track and map their delivery work. 

Methodological Challenges and Questions

We faced the challenge of working with and across methods, as well as with the question of how to use our digital methods in the spirit of "hacking" the platform. We needed to address the ethical issue of asking riders to generate a new data set from the GPS app in order to help us understand a proprietary/black boxed platform. 

Tools 

Nvivo to code interviews, GPS tracking app for Smartphones to gather route data, CAD software to visual riders routes. 

Credits 

Karen Gregory and Miguel Paredes Maldonado 

Many thanks to the Deliveroo riders who gave their time and offered their personal GPS data to this project. Thanks must also be given to William Tooze, Angus Henderson and Noah Judge, who developed the participatory data project and to Pascal Nonnen, who helped to coordinate interviews with riders.