Remote sensing and actuation are by no means new. The USGS has installed thousands of sensing units that yield terabytes of data for those who study and manage our watershed systems. Many a city uses remote control for everything from simple valve and pump mechanisms in treatment plants to sophisticated robotic cameras and listening stations for ghod knows what. Scaling these technologies down for use at the local level makes sense given the emergence of commons-based infrastructure and recent models for consensus-driven urban, rural and suburban planning.
Case in point: riparian zoning model – http://www.eightmileriver.org/zone/
Riparian zones can be fairly easily outfitted with sensors and actuators that can assist in long-term data modeling for ecosystem health and watershed management. Beyond “ownership and control” paradigms, new governance models are taking forms that allow groups of land users to bring a collective approach to committing to the extended maintenance of a local ecosystem. Of course nothing can take the place of human eyes and ears atop boots on the ground to enforce (substantiate) our claims to a better built environment, but web-enabled sensing and actuation can fill some specific needs.
I hope to attract some involvement toward building some testbeds in an around the Americas as has been done in Europe, Australia and other parts. I believe that commons based peer production is better than patents and trade secrets, by the way.
attention: tibi – Sensorica.com