Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 331–342

Using tracked mobile sensors to make maps of environmental effects

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00779-006-0104-5

Cite this article as:
Steed, A. & Milton, R. Pers Ubiquit Comput (2008) 12: 331. doi:10.1007/s00779-006-0104-5


We present the results of a study of environmental carbon monoxide pollution that uses a set of tracked, mobile pollution sensors. The motivating concept is that we will be able to map pollution and other properties of the real world at a fine scale if we can deploy a large set of sensors with members of the general public who would carry them as they go about their normal everyday activities. To prove the viability of this concept we have to demonstrate that data gathered in an ad hoc manner is reliable enough in order to allow us to build interesting geo-temporal maps. We present a trial using a small number of global positioning system-tracked CO sensors. From analysis of raw GPS logs we find some well-known spatial and temporal properties of CO. Further, by processing the GPS logs we can find fine-grained variations in pollution readings such as when crossing roads. We then discuss the space of possibilities that may be enabled by tracking sensors around the urban environment—both in getting at personal experience of properties of the environment and in making summative maps to predict future conditions. Although we present a study of CO, the techniques will be applicable to other environmental properties such as radio signal strength, noise, temperature, humidity and so on.


Mobile computing GPS Pollution monitoring Sensor networks 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations