A mobile sensing and visualization platform for environmental data

Three researchers from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Padua developed the foundational aspects of a mobile app that is intended to collect, display, and integrate environmental data, particularly light and noise, set to release in 2020. Sensors and communication devices on a mobile application can already display and collect environmental data, and the researchers wanted to create a mobile application for environmental data that could be integrated into Google Maps or some other mainstream mapping service available on cell phones, to display that data in real-time. Pedestrians could plan their routes based on these environmental data, allowing them to avoid places with possibly unpleasant noise levels or heat caused by strong sun exposure. In early tests, the app would also collect and store long term usage data about the type and amount of environmental data collected over time, allowing users to see long term trends in their reporting and environmental conditions. The app is still in its early stages of development, with noise and light being the two test metrics that the researchers chose to rest their concept on, with more aiming to be added in the future. The app developers also openly acknowledge that accurate data collection depends on the sensors in a person’s phone being fully exposed to the elements (for example, a phone can’t accurately measure sunlight if it’s tucked in a purse), which arguably isn’t the most practical for users on the go who would prefer to put their phone in their pocket or bag. There are definitely some hurdles for this app to overcome, but it still represents a technological leap in personal environmental data collection and utilization. 


Data, Ecological Monitoring, Internet of Things, Monitoring, Regulation