Array of Things

The Array of Things (AoT) is a modular, open-source, network of interactive sensor boxes (nodes), collecting and returning urban data in real time to citizens, scientists and policy makers. Sensor arrays bring a new depth to the information available on our city’s environment and transportation networks. This in turn can support smarter policy decisions around a range of complex challenges, from flooding and air quality to pedestrian traffic and road conditions.

Pilot AoT nodes were installed in Chicago in August of 2016, with 500 total planned for installation by 2018. The Urbanalytics Studio is working together with the City of Seattle on the nation’s first AoT deployment of the outside of Chicago. Specifically the Urbanalytics Lab is working on how best to approach the following:

  • Equity: How does AoT benefit underserved schools and communities, and how can these groups be involved in the decision making processes?

  • Community Engagement: Through an open web portal, making data available to people that are interested, real time access to data measurements, as well through potential involvement in the placement process.
  • Node Placement: Identifying areas that will capture a desirable and generalizable spectrum of data and environments, while also negotiating constraints such as security, power sources and real estate ownership.
  • Practical Considerations: Sensor and data ownership, regulation compliance, liability, installation and maintenance
  • Data Opportunities Development of research questions and policy implications
  • Risks: Involved in data collection, privacy considerations, and public perception

What will be measured by Seattle’s AoT nodes?

  • Wind
  • Temperature
  • Rain
  • Air-quality
  • Humidity
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Vibration
  • Magnetic field
  • Light
  • Movement

Local Partners:

Seattle City Light
Seattle Public Utilities
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Seattle Department of Information Technology

UW eScience Institute
UW iSchool
UW Urban Form Lab

Remote Partners:

University of Chicago
Urban Center for Computation and Data
Argonne National Labs

Developed through a collaboration between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Labs. Array of Things research in Chicago was made possible through funding from the National Science Foundation.

Array of Things Sensor
Array of Things node at the UW eScience Institute.