Source: Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago

After much anticipation, the first light pole-mounted, data collection nodes comprising Chicago’s ambitious city-wide Array of Things sensor network are finally starting to come on line. Initially installed in the Pilsen neighborhood last week to specifically study air quality, these first few sensors will soon be expanded to more locations across the city and will grow to roughly 500 nodes by the end of 2018.

While a project to install hundreds of unblinking robotic sentinels across the Windy City might seem like something out of an Orwellian dystopia, the Array of Things is interested in monitoring the Chicago’s urban environment — such as temperature, barometric pressure, light, vibration, pollutants, sound intensity, traffic — and not its individual residents. As an added layer of transparency, all data will be published openly across multiple portals completely free of charge.