Hot on the heels of our first Summer webinar (first of a four part series), we have some exciting news! The first webinar demonstrated how to connect the smart city sensor to SensorThings API. We’re currently doing this IRL at SensorUp.

A few volunteers have taken home the first batch of air quality sensors. Sensors are up and running as we speak! On top of that, we’ve connected the sensors around the City of Calgary, Alberta, and fed them into a single access point for all the information. So, we’re building a public resource of a number of air quality measuring stations. Real-time and historical data will be available for each station. Anyone interested in air quality in the Calgary Region will be able to navigate to one page, and see current air quality. It will be shown as a heat map of good and bad air quality. Also, it will be shown as historical values, both as a graph and on the map.

Citizen Sensing Map -- Dust Levels 2Connecting these sensors also tests the hardware. Currently, air quality is measured using only a few, very expensive, air quality monitoring stations. Using only a few means that there are only some locations that are monitored directly.  Air quality in the rest of the City and Province is inferred from these data points. But, with sensor hardware rapidly decreasing in price, it’s possible to put in place a much larger network of sensors. The cheaper sensors can be deployed at a much higher rate. These sensors are far less expensive, and provide readings in way more locations. That means that we have better coverage and ultimately, better knowledge, of air quality throughout the Region. These sensors don’t have the same data quality, but their measurements are augmented by the expensive stations already in place.

Effectively, what we get is two sensors networks, one with a handful of high-quality sensors, and one with many cost-effective sensors. The cost effective sensors provide coverage, and the high-quality sensors provide calibration and data-checking points, to ensure the big network is on point. What this means is that we’ll soon have air quality knowledge that has more data points, and knowledge from more locations. Overall, we’ll have a much more complete picture of air quality in our region.

We’ll be releasing the web application that shows all the combined air quality data soon, but for now, see the chart below for a special sneak preview!!