Catch up on what the experimenters have been up to this week.
The ICT Secretariat of the Government of Valle del Cauca met with representatives of CAMoN to implement strategies for knowledge of environmental pollution in Valle del Cauca through digital connectivity applications and devices.
In the framework of the CAMoN project, the Cartagena team has been in charge of the integration of commercial hardware components and software implementation in a compact device (prototype), which measuries the levels of pollution in the environment. This device has been named publisher.
To achieve this, the first task was to identify which resources are required by the system. This task is essential for the subsequent selection of the components of the device: battery, GPS receiver, sensors, display screen, etc. Additionally, our group has implemented other components, such as, for example, an on/off switch or a plate that accommodates and facilitates the placement of the sensors. Design of the network topology of the air quality monitoring devices.
In this post we talk about the network topology, which is essential to have a flexible and efficient communication system that allows data to reach from the sensors to the OrganiCity servers.
For the network topology, several factors were taken into account, such as not depending on cellphone networks and ensuring maximum flexibility for the transmission of data. In this regard, to reduce costs, we chose the utilization of IEEE 802.11 network technologies and to deploy a delay tolerant ad-hoc mobile network. In this way, the ability of the nodes to self-organize in the transmission of data to the servers is guaranteed as well as in those moments in which some node can get isolated from the network.
The contacts we started last week with the written and radio media in the city of Santander have begun to bear fruit. On Monday, March 19th, Miquel Angel Mayol, responsible for all the development of the application, was interviewed on the local radio station with the largest audience: Radio Santander (Cadena SER). In the following link, from the 9:54 minute onwards, you can listen to the interview we had with them here.
Following the interview, we received a request to write an article about the ParGarCom app from the web portal https://www.greenappsandweb.com/, as it may be of interest from an environmental perspective. On the other hand, during the week we have closed the participation of the speakers in the conference that will be held at the ParcBit (Parque Balear de Innovación Tecnológica) on March 26th, in addition to making its dissemination through social networks. In the event, the ParGarCom project will be explained and we will talk about
Organicity, in addition to the presence of two authorities from the Balearic Islands’ Government related to technological development, the coordinator of the SmartCity/SmartDestination group from the University of the Balearic Islands and Juan Echevarria, as head of European projects in the city of Santander. To date, more than
20 people with profiles linked to public administrations and some representatives of private companies have already confirmed their presence. In the following link you can find the information on the conference http://www.parcbit.es/wparcbitfront/PublicacionSel.jsp?id=16683
The reports of several beta-testers from Santander that have used the application have been taken into account and have resulted in some changes. Especially the API has been improved to reduce the time to upload information to Organicity (comments, videos and images).
In order to prepare the conference and evaluate the reports of the Santander beta-testers, several meetings were held with the whole team.
This week has been a lot about catching up on what we have worked on the last few days, finishing the installation of sensors, QR codes and buttons and ensuring that we are receiving all the data.
In Santander, all the sensors are now mounted and operational, we have also started seeing how people are starting to use the button to report the filling levels.
In Herning, we have also set up the QR codes and buttons, together with the remaining sensors.
We are now looking forward to examining the data and try to see how the citizens use the QR codes and buttons, how that correlates with the actual sensor measurements and how efficient the waste collection is at the moment.
The last weeks have been exciting weeks for our team! Our SafeCity app prototype was tested by 16 citizens in Aarhus during two weeks. You might not experience something unsafe every day, so test participants had been prompted to keep their eyes peeled and post at least one rapport of a condition or situation that they or someone else might perceive as unsafe. We were quite lucky to have snowy weather during our first test week - this prompted a stream of notifications about slippery conditions and difficulties related to accessibility. We simulated the functionality of posts from the authorities by feeding relevant warnings and messages from the DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) and the Police into the app. It was fun to see the app come alive with notifications - and we were positively surprised seeing that people not only noted down unsafe conditions -
but also gave advice to fellow testers. For example, one participant wrote “Watch out, it’s very foggy outside. If you are planning to bike, wear reflectors if you have any!” We followed up the tests this week with two focus groups and a web survey. We are in the middle of analyzing the results, there is clear indication that the concept adds value in terms of providing the three communication flows that it is built up around: authorities to the citizen, citizen to authorities and citizen to citizen. We are now diving deeper into the insights to find out where we need to improve functionality and perhaps tweak the concept.
In parallel, we are setting up meetings with relevant stakeholders in Aarhus municipality with the aim of finding one or more contexts where the concept - or elements of the concept - can be further developed and live on after the experiment period ended.
This week we finished a complete first version of the hardware, back-end and content management application of the Citizen Dialogue Kit. The firmware for the displays and the back-end API can be found our GitHub page now. The front-end tool for managing the displays will be added to the repository soon as well.
We’ve also built a new casing system for the displays based on the design we shared last week. These cases are built out of layers of laser-cut plexiglass and are easy to assemble with a few bolts. In the next iteration of the design, we will focus on weatherproofing and increase the modularity of the cases to better support different, free narrative structures.
Last night we held a first workshop at Civic Lab Leuven about using the tool kit to create public visualization for their LeuvenAir project. This workshop used the first part of our Citizen Dialog Kit methodology to identify the specific problem which they want to address through the public visualizations, who the stakeholders are, what the spatial context is that they are in and what the message is that they would like to convey.
Next week we will continue to work on evaluating and improve the tool kit and preparing a deployment in Leuven.
It’s final validation and testing time for TalkingCity! The second round of testing with citizens of Aarhus provided a lot of insight into how to improve the overall user journey. A new version of the chatbot was released (including improved use of Danish idiomatic expressions, thanks to the support of Aarhus Municipality officers) and a Facebook ad campaign got started to draw more traffic to our chatbot. Here is the link if want to give it a try and discover what are the upcoming events in Aarhus: https://www.facebook.com/talkingcity.aarhus/
We are now completing the experiment with an in-depth analysis of the market of chatbots for public services (including best practices in terms of go-to-market and partnerships’ networks), in order to ensure a long life to TalkingCity!
We currently have two of our Audio Capture Devices busily collecting data. This weekend, we are holding a collaborative box building event! We will encourage community volunteers to help us construct some more boxes. Here is the Eventbrite link for anyone who wants to nip over to Edinburgh: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/group-build-tree-boxes-for-the-edinburgh-citysounds-project-tickets-44368397070 We are also preparing three end-of-project events:
● A public event about CitySounds and urban soundscapes, featuring guest speaker Chris Watson. Chris is a field recordist and sound artist and will reveal sounds from his sound installation "Inside the circle of fire: A Sheffield Sound Map”, a project that describes the sound world of the city of his birth in dynamic
multichannel sound. Registration and more information here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-sounds-chris-watson-tickets-43932741011
● Sonikebana: Audio captured by the project will be placed inside custom-built portable loudspeakers and visitors will be invited to move the loudspeakers around the space in order to design and reorganise the soundscape as they hear-fit. Registration and more information here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-sounds-sonikebana-v1-tickets-44409895192?ref=enivt e&invite=MTQwODQ3NTcvZXdhbkBpbmYuZWQuYWMudWsvMA%3D%3D
● A guided ‘listening walk’ for people whose appetite has been whetted by Sonikebana. More information available soon. We are also working on setting up our local OrganiCity node. The Subscription Asset proxy (which handles the communication to the OrganiCity central Orion instance) is installed and configured.The next stage is to complete the installation of the FIWARE Orion context broker, for local processing of assets prior to sharing them to the central Orion server.
It’s been a relatively quiet week in the WearAQ camp. After having our first workshop last week we were all set to put on another over the weekend. However, due to a forecasted appearance of the ‘beast from the east’ we had to reassess and postpone to a later date.
But like with all delays we’ve had so far, this allowed us to add more to the platform. This week we focussed specifically on incorporating our, thus far, offline model that takes the data we collect during the workshops and recommends new locations to collect data.
Why and how do we recommend locations? The aim of WearAQ is to allow citizens to participate in determining the air quality in their communities. We take existing ‘open data’ - such as from Organicity’s repositories, and interpolate air quality in between.
Knowing that our prediction will not be error-free, we look for areas with a high estimated error and recommend to collect data there.
By doing so we can ‘fill in’ some of the gaps and give back a better idea of the air quality in the region.
In the figures above, left shows the locations of open source sensors. On the right, we’ve modelled the data in between. The density plot on the top left shows troughs and peaks of air quality while as the graph on the right shows the error associated with each zone (dark being least error and yellow being highest). This way we can recommend to communities where to take measurements. Incidentally, this is also how we compare and contrast participant readings to a ‘predicted’ value. Hopefully, this was informative, as always, feel free to ask questions and looking forward to updating you on the next round of workshops.