Clippings to read, watch and listen

GPS Pigeon

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Conceived by Beatriz da Costa, a professor of arts, computation, and engineering at the University of California, Irvine, PigeonBlog “enlists homing pigeons to participate in a grassroots scientific data gathering initiative designed to collect and distribute information about air quality conditions to the general public. Pigeons are equipped with custom-built miniature air pollution sensing devices enabled to send the collected localized information to an online server without delay. Pollution levels are visualized and plotted in real-time over Google’s mapping environment, thus allowing immediate access to the collected information to anyone with connection to the Internet.”

So rather than remaining an urban nuisance, pigeons coalesce into a network of ambient monitoring devices.

Which makes one wonder what other sort of urban animals can be recruited as bloggers, letting us know the particulars of their day, uploading mobile cam photos to Flickr of street scenes or rush hour traffic on the freeways or that four-alarm fire in downtown, all done in real-time. Can we soon expect stray cats and dogs, sewer rats, and cockroaches to be thought of as critical infrastructure rather than something to be designed out of the landscape?




Written by James Thomas

09/01/2011 at 20:28

Posted in 004/ Environment

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