Inside the small wooden box are several tiny sensors, a cellular modem, a battery, and a micro-processor running custom programming code. But the key innovation for Erica Pereira’s “Lane of Things” device might be the laser-printed cut-out design of the outer enclosure: two circles and a square forming a friendly emoji-like face.
Their box was just one of over forty sensor nodes built by Lane Tech students as part of the first Lane of Things workshop, funded by Motorola Solutions and organized by the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as part of the broader Array of Things (AoT) project. The workshop was the first stage of the AoT’s educational component, using the technology and principles of the urban sensing platform to help students learn about programming, data science, digital fabrication, and additional CS concepts.
OpenGrid, a new website and mobile app that maps and visualizes city data for Chicago residents, was announced and released today by the City of Chicago. The project, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, was built in partnership with researchers at the CI's Urban Center for Computation and Data and uses their Plenario open data platform.
Chicago is known as a city of skyscrapers, with some of the world’s tallest and largest buildings dotting the famous skyline. But all that square footage carries a hefty energy price tag, as well as significant opportunities for improved efficiency and savings. To encourage building owners to assess and reduce their energy usage, the City of Chicago passed the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance in 2013, requiring certain properties to report energy data.
Plenario, a new platform for accessing, combining, downloading, and visualizing datasets released by city, county, state, and federal governments, offers a user-friendly and powerful interface to push data-driven urban research beyond spreadsheets and towards deeper insights and solutions. An alpha version of the platform is now available for public use at http://plenar.io.
On November 20th, representatives of those fields gathered onstage for Chicago: City of Big Data, a UChicago Discovery Series panel discussion of research and educational efforts focused on transforming cities through data and computation. In a vibrant 90-minute conversation moderated by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), the panelists described work underway at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and outlined their visions for the future of data-driven urban design and governance.