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Argonne National Laboratory

Citizen devices tracking Chicago's pollution hot spots

Researchers at the Urban Center for Computation and Data, an initiative by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, have developed equipment that is being posted on light poles around the city to provide granular details about air quality, traffic, sound volume and temperature.

After working out glitches with the electronics and redesigning protective enclosures for the devices, dubbed the Array of Things, the scientists are planning to have 500 monitors up and running by the end of next year.

Charlie Catlett, a data scientist who directs the project, said the goal is to provide researchers and the public with new kinds of data that can be used to improve quality of life. The latest version of the monitors is designed to make it easier to add new technology as the field improves and expands.

The Quantified City: A Closer Look at Chicago's Array of Things

Source: Brittnay Micek, Carto

Chicago, is the latest city to crack the syntax of smart cities and hack the Internet of Things. Instead of focusing on data to quantify individual productivity and activity, the city has partnered with researchers to analyze sensor-collected data to measure the City by the Lake’s “fitness.”

Dubbed the Array of Things (AoT), a network of interactive, modular sensors, is collecting new streams of data on 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 flood prevention, traffic safety, air quality, and availability to civic services.

Chicago gets serious about tracking air quality and traffic data

Source: Matt McFarland, CNN Money

There may be a solution to asthma perched high above a handful of Chicago intersections.

Last week, the city began installing sophisticated computers on traffic poles to track air quality, weather and road data at a block-by-block level.

The project's leaders liken the project to giving an entire city its own Fitbit (FIT), which should help it better track and address everything from public health risks to congestion on roads.

Chicago begins building 'fitness tracker' to check its vitals

SOURCE: Aadmer Mahani, USA Today

CHICAGO — The Windy City has begun installing what sounds and looks a whole lot like a Fitbit that can measure the vitals of a bustling metropolis.

Chicago, which partnered on the project with researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and several corporations, last week installed the first two of 500 modular sensor boxes. The devices will eventually allow the city and public to instantly get block-by-block data on air quality, noise levels, as well as vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The project — dubbed the Array of Things and described by Chicago officials as a "fitness tracker for the city" — is a first-of-its-kind effort in the nation. Plans are in the works to replicate the project in the coming years in more than a dozen other cities, including Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Seattle. The Chicago project was funded with the help of a $3.1 million National Science Foundation grant.

Do Universities, Research Institutions Hold the Key to Open Data’s Next Chapter?

Source: Ben Miller, Government Technology

Where government has raw data, professors and researchers have expertise and analytics programs.

The amount of data available to government and the computing public promises to continue to multiply — the growing smart cities trend, for example, installs networks of sensors on everything from utility poles to garbage bins.

As all this happens, a movement — a new spin on an old concept — has begun to take root: partnerships between government and research institutes. Usually housed within universities and laboratories, these partnerships aim to match strength with strength. Where government has raw data, professors and researchers have expertise and analytics programs.

Chicago to track an 'Array of Things' to improve livability

Source: Meredith Francis, WBEZ

Nowadays, a lot of people sport fitness trackers - wearable devices that monitor a person’s steps, heart rate, exercise habits and more. Well, the city of Chicago is hoping to expand on the idea to track the city’s fitness. The project — called The Array of Things (AoT) — will install modular sensor boxes on city street light posts that measure things like climate, air quality and noise.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Chicago, the Argonne National Laboratory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


U of C Internet of Things project gets $3.1 million

Source: John Pletz on Tech, Crain's Chicago Business

A lot of things are happening on the Internet of Things front in Chicago.

The National Science Foundation is providing $3.1 million to the ambitious "Array of Things" project, led by researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, to outfit the city with 500 sensors to measure everything from air quality to traffic. UI Labs has hired a director to lead its City Digital project, which will use data to better understand and design how cities work.

The Array of Things project, led by U of C researcher Charlie Catlett, involves the city of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute, Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.