screenshot-2016-11-04-15-35-5750 air quality sensors have been deployed throughout Calgary, giving Calgary the country’s highest-resolution air quality monitoring network.

Following our workshop early October, Calgary saw 50 sensors deployed throughout the city, 30 of them over one weekend. Citizen scientists took it upon themselves to assemble a sensor at our workshop, then take the sensor home, connect it to their wifi, and place it outside. These 50 volunteers have now put in place the country’s highest-resolution air quality monitoring network, featuring very high geographic and temporal resolution.

The effort is a classic example of citizen-led Internet of Things (IoT). Our ability to deploy so many sensors comes from the trend in electronic hardware toward better computing power and lower and lower cost. We have low-cost sensors that can read all kinds of things in the natural world, in this case, air quality. These can be connected to the internet, to provide real time information, monitoring, and knowledge about the world around us. Smart Cities is an example of a way to take advantage of IoT: connect your city, monitor your fleet, equipment, and operations, find and eliminate efficiencies, and enjoy better services, modern services, and better quality of life.

In our air quality program, we provide air quality coverage for smart cities, enabled by this kind of tech.

See the maps and other info here: http://calgary-air.sensorup.com/

The video will give you more background on the program that put these sensors in place, from the volunteers themselves. For more info on the program: http://www.sensorup.com/citizen-sensing/  and http://smartcities.sensorup.com/what-we-do/

The related information is easily accessible on the web. We’ve had people who suffer from asthma tell us that the information is super useful to someone who has allergy-onset asthma, and could inform they decisions about whether they’d venture out. The information is real-time, and accessible over any browser in an easy to digest format. We’ve been asked by people in a number of regions throughout the province including Lethbridge and St. Albert when we’ll be expanding to their city!

The sensors measure PM2.5, a particularly important factor in the healthiness of the air we breathe. PM2.5 standards for particulate matter 2.5, a size measurement. This size is small enough to travel widely, and to get deep into our lungs. It’s related to a number of health issues.

Check it out:

Real time map of the PM2.5 values reported by 50 air quality sensors deployed throughout Calgary. Great geographic and temporal coverage. Made possible by supplementing the existing high-precision, super-high-cost sensors with low-cost sensors.
screenshot-2016-10-12-12-55-16Example of the additional data exploration features included in the mapping website. These are found by scrolling and clicking through the website, so they’re accessible to any user.
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Photo of one of our volunteers’ sensors, as installed. It takes about 5 minutes to set up. The wifi connection check site is included in the package. The sensor is about the size of a toaster. 
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