From Traffic Technology Today
Chicago has become the first city to launch an ‘Array of Things’, a multi node urban sensing project that will provide open data on a range of environmental factors, including air quality, traffic and climate.
Chicago’s Array of Things (AoT) team has started the first phase of the groundbreaking urban sensing project, installing the first of an eventual 500 nodes on city streets. By measuring data on air quality, climate, traffic and other urban features, these pilot nodes kick off an innovative partnership between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the city of Chicago, to better understand, serve and improve cities.
AoT is designed as a ‘fitness tracker’ for the city, collecting new streams of data on Chicago’s environment, infrastructure and activity. This hyper-local, open data can help researchers, city officials and software developers study and address critical city challenges, such as preventing urban flooding, improving traffic safety and air quality, and assessing the nature and impact of climate change.
In the first phase of the project, 50 nodes will be installed in August and September on traffic light poles in The Loop, Pilsen, Logan Square and along Lake Michigan. These nodes will contain sensors for measuring air and surface temperature, barometric pressure, light, vibration, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and ambient sound intensity. Two cameras will collect data on vehicle and foot traffic, standing water, sky color and cloud cover.
A total of 500 nodes will be installed across Chicago by the end of 2018, and additional nodes will be shared with cities across the USA, and in countries such as England, Mexico and Taiwan. Initial node locations and data applications were determined based on interactions with community organizations and research groups.