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Using tracked mobile sensors to make maps of environmental effects

Steed, A.; Milton, R.; (2008) Using tracked mobile sensors to make maps of environmental effects. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing , 12 (4) pp. 331-342. 10.1007/s00779-006-0104-5. Green open access


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We present a study the results of a study of environmental carbon monoxide pollution that has uses a set of tracked, mobile pollution sensors. The motivating concept is that we will be able to map pollution and other properties of the real world a fine scale if we can deploy a large set of sensors with members of the general public who would carry them as they go about their normal everyday activities. To prove the viability of this concept we have to demonstrate that data gathered in an ad-hoc manner is reliable enough in order to allow us to build interesting geo-temporal maps. We present a trial using a small number of global positioning system-tracked CO sensors. From analysis of raw GPS logs we find some well-known spatial and temporal properties of CO. Further, by processing the GPS logs we can find fine-grained variations in pollution readings such as when crossing roads. We then discuss the space of possibilities that may be enabled by tracking sensors around the urban environment – both in getting at personal experience of properties of the environment and in making summative maps to predict future conditions. Although we present a study of CO, the techniques will be applicable to other environmental properties such as radio signal strength, noise, weather and so on.

Type: Article
Title: Using tracked mobile sensors to make maps of environmental effects
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00779-006-0104-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00779-006-0104-5
Language: English
Keywords: Mobile computing, GPS, pollution monitoring, sensor networks
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2180
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