[FoRK] Article: Towards a sensor commons « Technology Treason

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Wed Jan 4 21:02:49 PST 2012

--- On Wed, 1/4/12, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <drernie at radicalcentrism.org> wrote:

> Towards a sensor commons « Technology Treason
> http://ajfisher.me/2011/12/20/towards-a-sensor-commons/
> Articles Comments
> Towards a sensor commons
> December 20th, 2011 | 2 Comments
> ...[snip]...
> In order to be useful, we need to ensure we can compare
> data relatively faithfully across multiple sensors. ...
> ...[snip]...
> In my definition of the Sensor Commons geography doesn’t
> matter. You can be as hyper localised as measuring the
> sewage level of a borough as in the case of Don’t Flush Me
> or measuring radiation on a global scale. The scale upon
> which you operate is dictated by the type of thing you’re
> measuring. For example measuring water quality in two
> unlinked water courses makes almost no sense, in two
> different oceans it makes even less with regards to
> comparability.

I like the concept but he seems to miss his own point with this example.

Measuring water quality in two unlinked water courses or in two different oceans or, indeed, in just a single water course, ocean, localized part of an ocean, or any other water body makes excellent sense.  In any of these cases the comparison is on the time dimension to determine whether there is a change, what sort of change (beneficial or not so much), and how quickly it's happening. E.g. compare it to a baseline.

Or to compare it, continuously, to a standard. 

Or to establish a standard or baseline against which to do ongoing measurement.

For instance, the whole frac'ing thing related to extracting oil and natural gas from shales.  One of the problems all sides are facing in the debate of whether it has any effect on the water quality of the "local" aquifers is that there are no baseline measurements so nobody really knows what the quality was "Before".

Beyond the obvious value of localized measurement of an individual water course, when/if some change is detected in the "local" measurements you can then ask the question of whether other water bodies are seeing change(s) of a similar kind and at a similar rate. If so, why?  If not, why not?

That is, the water bodies are definitely linked. Not physically but perhaps by similar forms of intrusion. And perhaps in many other ways my tiny brain can't perceive.  Because....

His main point seems to be, "It's all in the data, Stupid." Even the linkages.  Hell, especially the linkages!  

He prolly just had a brain fart.... Eh?  :-)


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