how it came to this?

One day in January I decided to go to Stuttgart to met with the people from luftdaten.info. I had heard about their project:

They are building Do-It-Yourself air quality monitors. You can hang on your balcony and the device pushes the data to a central map for everyone to see (http://freiburg.maps.luftdaten.info/).

So citizen can measure the air quality in their neighbourhood. In total there are less then 20 measuring points run by the state of Baden-Württemberg all across it’s territory.

So I built this one sensor and took it to Freiburg. And I decided to organise a workshop and send out invitations. I ordered the stuff for ten sensors and thought if I have some to spare I can talk my friends into putting some up.

The first workshop was overrun by more then 30 people, the second workshop was again overrun by more then 30 people. Workshop three and four are already planned. So Freiburg has now more then 20 sensors and more are coming. The side effect is, that people who are usually not interested in these topics start talking about air quality and get involved.

While doing this I met so many people interested in smart city, sensors and environmental quality. So we decided to maker our little project and build a portable air logger, more or less a dosimeter but for particle matter and not for radioactivity. You will be able to take it along when you go through town and measure to which particle matter concentration you are exposed. As soon as this device is ready I will test it while cycling, running or going around town in the ambulance. Maybe I can even lend it out to policemen on the beat, street sweepers, trash collection workers or bike couriers, because currently there is no real data or research about the personal exposure to bad air and how it varies based on lifestyle or occupation.

Several professors at the university already expressed their interest. You can find the project here.

However the website is not yet finished. We are planning to put instructions on this website so that everyone can build such a device himself.

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