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GPS Pigeons
GPS Pigeons

Conceived by Beatriz da Costa, a professor of arts, computation, and engineering at the University of California, Irvine, PigeonBlog “enlists homing pigeons to participate in a grassroots scientific data gathering initiative designed to collect and distribute information about air quality conditions to the general public. Pigeons are equipped with custom-built miniature air pollution sensing devices enabled to send the collected localized information to an online server without delay. Pollution levels are visualized and plotted in real-time over Google’s mapping environment, thus allowing immediate access to the collected information to anyone with connection to the Internet.”

So rather than remaining an urban nuisance, pigeons coalesce into a network of ambient monitoring devices.

Which makes one wonder what other sort of urban animals can be recruited as bloggers, letting us know the particulars of their day, uploading mobile cam photos to Flickr of street scenes or rush hour traffic on the freeways or that four-alarm fire in downtown, all done in real-time. Can we soon expect stray cats and dogs, sewer rats, and cockroaches to be thought of as critical infrastructure rather than something to be designed out of the landscape?

Animal Vegetable Video
  • Anonymous
  • December 6, 2006 at 5:06:00 PM CST
  • Check here for the keepin' it real Pigeon Blog. The online diary of a London Pigeon no less. A pigeon called Brisn.

  • Anonymous
  • February 12, 2008 at 9:32:00 PM CST
  • Once in a while I remember Greg Bear's "Blood Music", and the thought of those unstoppable germs that numb their hosts with "violin music" makes me * :-S *... Lets just hope the research does not involve GPS-equipped bacteria, hehe.
    See the Garmin that made it to ConsumerSearch's top selection for 2007. More of the GPS review, whether auto or handheld.

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