Weather Tunnel Project at TransLife 2011

Weather Tunnel Project at TransLife 2011

I’m extremely excited to finally write about Citizen Sensor’s role in the Weather Tunnel project, which will be exhibited as part of the TransLife 2011 New Media Art exhibition at the National Art Museum of China this July and August.

The core concept of Weather Tunnel is to experience global environmental and weather data in real-time through interactive physical art installations. We have a really exciting list of partners working with us including Art Center Nabi in Japan, University of New South Wales in Australia, Universit√§t der K√ľnste Berlin in Germany, and several others. Each partner will be exhibiting their own interactive piece using real-time weather data, AND are hosting their own sensor node. I developed an installation called the E.S.Orchestra – A kinetic, autonomous instrument performing generative music based on real-time weather and environmental data, with my colleague Benjamin Bacon.

The sensors used in Weather Tunnel are directly related to my development of Citizen Sensor. However, there is one main difference: Weather Tunnel nodes are stationary. In order to achieve this, I opted to use the Arduino Ethernet Shield as the connection to the internet (as opposed to a cellular telephone data connection).

You can read all about the sensor units developed for weather tunnel on the WT Developer blog located here: http://tasml.parsons.edu/weathertunnel/sensor-information/

I’ll embed the main sensor document so you can check out what this unit looks like and how it works. You’ll notice I also included an LCD screen for debugging purposes. This was extremely helpful as we fabricated the units here in NYC and then sent them out to the partners around the world — there was a lot of debugging needed.

The other big difference is that these units are using Pachube to record and host our data. It’s been a great experience with Pachube, writing openFrameworks and Processing applications to connect and retrieve data in real-time using their very robust and well documented API.

You can look at all of the Weather Tunnel datastreams on Pachube here:
http://pachube.com/feeds?user=weathertunnel. Our user page is here.

I’ll be travelling to Beijing next week and will be there until the opening of TransLife on July 26. Very exciting!