Citizens Sensing

Posted on: 20/04/2019 | By: DSS

Tech incubator Waag Society’s Hollandse Luchten (Dutch Skies) project is attracting widespread interest from across the globe. Commissioned by the Noord-Holland provincial authority, Hollandse Luchten is a citizen science project that gets local residents involved in monitoring air quality in their local environment.

Before the end of the year, 200 people across the province of Noord-Holland who want to start monitoring air quality will have a particulate matter sensor to be able to do so. Most of these sensors will be installed around the Tata Steel site, where local residents are very worried about the quality of their living environment.

Citizens are increasingly aware of the important role that air quality and noise levels play in creating a healthy living environment. The phenomenon of citizens taking control of monitoring the quality of their living environment is referred to as citizen sensing.

Power to the people

Affordable sensors not only give people living in areas where air quality is deteriorating more knowledge on the quality of their living environment, the (objective) monitoring data can also give citizens a stronger position and offers opportunities to raise awareness of air quality issues. As a result, citizens are taken more seriously by authorities, which is expected to lead to more constructive collaboration.

The sensor technology used to monitor quality of life in an area is becoming increasingly sophisticated and affordable. The new wireless networks that send data collected by sensors to the internet have also come a long way in recent years. The LoRa network, for example, is extremely well suited for these purposes. Such a network has meanwhile been rolled out across the Netherlands.

To boost monitoring data reliability, it is key that residents get involved in monitoring and help interpret sensor data.

Sound map of the living environment

SensorTeam’s sensor technology can help citizens and authorities make a sound map of any area. Given that it is a fully autonomous device, with a built-in solar panel and wireless communication (LoRa), SensorTeam’s sound sensor offers unrivaled reliability and is easy to install anywhere in the Netherlands. The monitoring data – the decibels – is presented on an online portal that provides an at-a-glance view of all the data.

Interested in using this technology to gain new insight into noise levels in your neighborhood, town or city? Please contact us.

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