Dr. Steve Koonin on Big Data in Big Cities, Part 1

March 31 2015

Dr. Steve Koonin of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and his colleagues are perched atop New York City, surveying the cityscape from their Urban Observatory. Or at least, they are metaphorically speaking—the Urban Observatory is a research project developed by scholars at CUSP that uses photography to monitor broad trends such as energy use, pollution, and blackout coverage in the city. In this week’s episode of Deconstructing IoT, Dr. Koonin speaks with us not only about why he thinks the Urban Observatory will become an effective way to analyze information on a city-wide scale, but also about some of the other initiatives that new technologies have enabled for using big data to improve city life. He then goes on to describe how CUSP’s model of forming partnerships among universities, businesses, and government agencies can be especially productive for collecting, analyzing, and acting upon urban data. This is part 1 of our interview; check in next week to watch part 2.

Dr. Steve Koonin of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and his colleagues are perched atop New York City, surveying the cityscape from their Urban Observatory. Or at least, they are metaphorically speaking—the Urban Observatory is a research project developed by scholars at CUSP that uses photography to monitor broad trends such as […]

Talking Smart Cities with Dr. Anthony Townsend (Part 2)

March 11 2015

The second half of our two-part interview with Dr. Anthony Townsend of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management is here! After covering topics such as self-balancing skateboards and wearable computers in part one, we moved on in part two to discuss the effects of mobile technology on urbanization, why open data requires open algorithms, and what you can do to learn more about smart city design. If you missed the first half of the interview last week, you can catch up here.

The second half of our two-part interview with Dr. Anthony Townsend of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management is here! After covering topics such as self-balancing skateboards and wearable computers in part one, we moved on in part two to discuss the effects of mobile technology on urbanization, why open data requires open […]

Talking Smart Cities with Dr. Anthony Townsend

March 3 2015

This week on Deconstructing IoT we have another interview for you, this time with Dr. Anthony Townsend of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. Dr. Townsend, the author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, spoke with us about how digital technology is making cities “smart,” what that means for big problems such as energy and resource management, and how city designers and developers can be thinking about a more connected urban future. This is part one of what was for us an extremely interesting conversation—check back next Tuesday for part two!

This week on Deconstructing IoT we have another interview for you, this time with Dr. Anthony Townsend of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. Dr. Townsend, the author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, spoke with us about how digital technology is making […]

Urban Noise Pollution Monitoring

February 18 2015

Is your neighborhood noisy? In this week’s Deconstructing IoT, we’re taking a look at noise pollution in cities and what the Internet of Things can do about it. Noise pollution is just the sort of problem that smart city networks, like those being created in Chicago, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, are designed to help solve—sensor data gathered at a city-wide scale can help urban planners to understand how public spaces are being used and to make informed decisions about how to improve them. We’ve built a simple noise sensor using an Arduino Yún and an accompanying web app using our Yelp, Amazon, and Google Geocoding Choreos to do the job. Once the sensors are distributed throughout a city, you can click on a map in the app to get the noise level reading from the nearest sensor, and also see how noise compares to the number of restaurants and bars in the area.

Is your neighborhood noisy? In this week’s Deconstructing IoT, we’re taking a look at noise pollution in cities and what the Internet of Things can do about it. Noise pollution is just the sort of problem that smart city networks, like those being created in Chicago, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, are designed to help solve—sensor data […]

The Urban IoT

December 31 2014

Connor McKay is imagining the Internet of Things on a sprawling scale. A public policy student at Northeastern University, Connor became interested in data and how it shapes life in urban centers, and decided to dive into the topic by designing an urban sensor project at the intersection of some of his courses. He wanted to work with what he describes as “a new class of sensor-based technology that allows cities to track the urban ecosystem in near real-time. This gives an unprecedented level of information to policy makers and citizens alike, which makes urban environments more livable and participatory.”

He modeled his project off of a few early-phase urban sensor networks, like Chicago’s Array of Things and Smart Citizen in Barcelona. Data is being collected from temperature, humidity, light, and ambient noise sensors attached to an Arduino board and positioned both indoors and outdoors. With Temboo’s Google > Spreadsheets > AppendRow Choreo, Connor logs that data in a Google Spreadsheet, and then proceeds to analyze his sample in RStudio. The sensor network will only continue to grow, so stay tuned!

Connor McKay is imagining the Internet of Things on a sprawling scale. A public policy student at Northeastern University, Connor became interested in data and how it shapes life in urban centers, and decided to dive into the topic by designing an urban sensor project at the intersection of some of his courses. He wanted […]
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