Chicago ‘big data’ project will monitor pedestrian traffic

Chicago is about to embark on a ‘big data’ project that will see sensors attached to traffic poles, which will stream a variety of environmental data to the city’s open data portal for research on how a modern city functions. Later this summer, as many as 30 sensors will be attached to light poles in the downtown area to collect environmental data that will be able to provide precise weather and air quality information, block-by-block. The information, minute-by-minute measurements of temperature, humidity, light, sound, barometric pressure and air quality, will be shared with researchers and the general public in real-time. The pilot project, funded by a US$200,000 grant from the Argonne National Laboratory, is led by the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UCCD) in collaboration with the city of Chicago.