viernes, 7 de febrero de 2014

Week picks #20


Thingful is a discoverability engine for The Public Internet of Things, providing a geographical index of where things are, who owns them, and how and why they are used.
Today, millions of people and organisations around the world already have and use connected 'things', ranging from energy monitors, weather stations and pollution sensors to animal trackers, geiger counters and shipping containers. Many choose to, or would like to, make their data available to third parties – either directly as a public resource or channeled through apps and analytical tools.
Thingful organises 'things' around locations and categories and structures ownership around Twitter profiles (which can be either people or organisations), enabling citizens to discuss why and how they are using their devices and data. Because, the 'who', 'why' and 'where' are ultimately far more important in The Public Internet of Things than the 'what'.
Explicitly built for people, communities, companies and cities that want to make the data from these 'things' available and useful to others, Thingful aggregates and indexes public information from some of the major IoT platforms and data infrastructures around the world, providing direct links to datasets and profile pages for the public things that it knows about.


The Citizen Sense project is funded through a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, and runs from 2013-2017. The project investigates, through three project areas, the relationship between technologies and practices of environmental sensing and citizen engagement. Wireless sensors, which are an increasing part of digital communication infrastructures, are commonly deployed for environmental monitoring within scientific study. Practices of monitoring and sensing environments have migrated to a number of everyday participatory applications, where users of smart phones and networked devices are able to engage with similar modes of environmental observation and data collection. Such “citizen sensing” projects intend to democratize the collection and use of environmental sensor data in order to facilitate expanded citizen engagement in environmental issues. But how effective are these practices of citizen sensing in not just providing “crowd-sourced” data sets, but also in giving rise to new modes of environmental awareness and practice?
Through intensive fieldwork, study and use of sensing applications, the project areas set out to contextualize, question and expand upon the understandings and possibilities of democratized environmental action through citizen sensing practices. The first project area, “Wild Sensing,” focuses on the use of sensors to map and track flora and fauna activity and habitats. The second project area, “Pollution Sensing,” concentrates on the increasing use of sensors to detect environmental disturbance, including air and water pollution. The third project area investigates “Urban Sensing,” and focuses on urban sustainability or “smart city” projects that implement sensor technologies to realize more efficient or environmentally sound urban processes.

A collective vision of what is possible is already being pieced together. Over the last 5 years we have seen an explosion of new citizen-led and hybrid cross-sector experiments seeking to address our disenfranchised society.
In food systems people are creating new ways to grow, sell, make, eat food - outside of existing consumer-orientated economic systems.  We are seeing the system innovations in energy creation, distribution and surplus use, in monetary mechanisms through credit unions and local currencies, in the physical making of houses, furniture, clothing.
These initiatives are working not to build new public services, remediation strategies or consumer markets but reframe our everyday local experience toward a participatory and civic economy. Each new initiative adds to a body of imaginative ideas and critical lessons of how we, as individuals and groups and organisations, can together create stronger local economies through an open and participatory society.
We now need to go further…. with a whole systems approach
Our challenge is now to create the conditions and mechanisms for such change to flourish – a whole systems approach which accelerates local initiatives to solve unique problems, with unique opportunities, using unique local resources. This practical and participatory localism cannot be, and must not be, a rare act performed by a few - but a common happening - a different way of living our day-to-day lives in which the many become co-producers of this new local.

Week picks series features some Fridays different initiatives and projects I found or want to highlight on this blog. It will help me track new findings from community groups, startups or local governments working and delivering solutions relevant to the issues covered on this blog. I often bookmark them or save them on Tumblr while I wait to use them. Maybe this a good way.

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