Weekend Web: Chicago's 'Array of Things'

Source: NBC Chicago

NBC5's Charlie Wojciechowski talks with the City of Chicago's Chief Information Officer Brenna Berman about a bold experiment that uses sensors around the city to collect data.

Chicago’s innovative new streetlights will monitor the city’s every move

Source: Yahoo! Sports

As one of America’s largest cities, Chicago has a unique personality wholly original to itself. To help achieve a better understanding of the Windy City’s character and temperament, Charlie Catlett — the Director of Urban Center for Computation and Data at Argonne National Laboratory — decided “why not outfit the city with an abundance of sensors to track its every move?”

By taking advantage of the city’s impending investment in new streetlights this past year, Catlett’s innovative vision recently came to life this week as Chicago began installing the revolutionary sensors. Dubbed the Array of Things, Catlett’s initiative should provide an unprecedented snapshot of Chicago.

Comment

Chicago’s new smart sensor network is a game changer for city data

Source: Patrick Sisson, Curbed

A new high-tech network that collects street-level city data will make the Midwest metropolis the City of Big Sensors

Alert Chicagoans may have already spotted the strange bundles of wires and gear on a growing number of light poles across the city. Designed to mimic the shape of weather stations, these odd additions to the streetscape look a little bit like stacks of white plastic ashtrays. But these sensors, packed with tools to collect data about environmental conditions, represent the future of urban research. Chicago’s Array of Things, an ambitious vision to collect and share city data on a micro and macro level, and potentially reshape how we formulate urban policy, is now live.

Comment

The Array of Things Is Coming to Chicago (and the World)

SOURCE: Whet Moser, Chicago Magazine

Last week, two small white fixtures, each a bit bigger than a human head and looking like an upside-down stack of Tupperware bowls, were mounted on lightpoles at Damen and Cermak and Damen and Archer. Inside the fixtures are environmental sensors, designed to measure air quality, weather conditions, light, vibration, and magnetic fields, plus a microphone for detecting decibel levels and a camera capturing still frames. (A Bluetooth modem that caused some concern a while back has been scrapped.) Small Linux-based computers process the data and pass it on to Argonne National Laboratory.

Chicago deploys computers with eyes, ears and noses

Chicago this week began deploying sensors on light poles to monitor, photograph and listen to the city. The effort is costing as much as $7 million, and may be the largest urban data collection of its kind once all 500 nodes are in place.

The beehive-shaped nodes have an array of sensors with enough onboard computing capability to conduct data processing on the device and minimize the amount of bandwidth needed to transmit data.

Argonne launches ‘Array of Things’ urban sensing project

Source: Scientific Computing World

Argonne National Laboratory is partnering with the University of Chicago and the City of Chicago to launch an open access urban sensing project - the Array of Things - to better understand and improve the cities.

The Array of Things (AoT) will collect streams of data on Chicago's environment, infrastructure, and activity. This local, open data collection can then be used by researchers, city officials and software developers to study challenges such as air pollution, flooding, traffic safety and assessing the nature and impact of climate change.

Chicago installs "fitness tracker for the city" to improve infrastructure and residents' health

Source: Dezeen

Areas of Chicago have been fitted with a network of sensors, which will work like a Fitbit activity tracker to provide both scientists and citizens with open data about the urban environment.

Known as the Array of Things, the urban sensing network was developed by the Urban Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago, the Argonne National Laboratory and the City of Chicago.

Array of Things takes off in Chicago

Source: Matt Leonard, GCN

Look! It’s a bird! … Or it’s a stack oversized of shuttlecocks, maybe?

No, those funky-looking contraptions being mounted on electric poles and traffic lights around Chicago are sensors, or, actually, housing for multiple sensors. They are the first sensors installed in Chicago’s much-anticipated Array of Things project. Fifty are expected to be up by September.

Chicago Launches Array of Things

Source: Government Technology

Chicago has taken a step toward what it hopes is the future.

On Aug. 29, coordinators of the Array of Things (AoT) project announced that they’ve set up two sensor nodes at intersections along Damen Avenue capable of collecting real-time data on things ranging from the amount of carbon monoxide in the air to the number of pedestrians crossing the street. They’re the first two nodes of an eventual 500 the project organizer hopes to have installed in the city by the end of 2018 — and that’s completely separate from the other cities working to set up their own nodes.