As the awareness of air quality importance arises, the need for a direct impact on measuring, monitoring and consequently making a change in our living environment gets stronger. The OK Lab Stuttgart citizen science initiative hosted Stuttgart’s edition of International Open Data Day 2018 that took place on 3th March 2018 in Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart. OK Lab Stuttgart (one of Code for Germany labs) is known primarily from their project Luftdaten.info, which since 2015 has been concentrating on measuring and monitoring the level of particles in the city’s air, winning an immerse interest from Stuttgart’s citizens side.
The event started with a foreword from Jan Lutz, lab lead of OK Lab Stuttgart and was followed by Raiko Zschiegner who focused his presentation of sensors, licensing and open data matters. In next 2 hours subjects as citizen science, Luftdaten.info project, noise and test quality (talk from Ewald Thoma, co-founder of OK Lab Stuttgart) were also put onto agenda and ended up with an interesting discussion.
Afterwards, the audience and organizers were divided into 3 discussion sessions. Parallely, the handicrafts workshops were organized for citizens who were interested in installing such sensors at their home and needed technical assistance. The already mention sessions regarded subjects which were technical and governmental oriented and raised matter like:
- NO2/NOX Sensors, CCO Interface, licensing of sensor data;
- Data Visualisation;
- LIFG (Baden-Württemberg state regulation regarding freedom of information);
- German Open Data regulation (this particular site only in German);
- Luftdaten.info itself and many more.
Rajko Zschiegner, co-founder of OK Lab Stuttgart describing step by step the assembling of in-home particulate sensor (from private photo collection)
NO2/NOX Sensors and LoRaWLAN discussion session (from private photo collection)
In the afternoon took place the presentation of hackAIR, a project conducted by a team from federal unit BUND e.v., which is funded by EU-Programme Horizon 2020. HackAIR is a cloud-based air quality information platform similar to Luftdaten.info, which through a user-friendly design shows punctual and general air purity, defined by measurements made by users’ sensors, which are installed in private flats or workplaces. The team enclosed some interesting features like sky photo-adding to a geographical measurement point. Just as in Luftdaten.info each point/sensor represents a particular person/sensor user – hackAIR created a pleasantly tailored personalized profile to empathise this strice Open Data relation. Currently only the beta version is online, but improvements are being made.
Arne Fellermann from BUND e.v. presenting an EU-funded project http://www.hackair.eu/ (from private photo collection)
Another very interesting aspect was the subject of sharing Open Datas which belong to the city with 3rd parties (citizens, companies etc.). After a brief description conducted by one of city’s office workers, the discussion was transfer to LIFG session, where the principals of https://datentest.service-bw.de/, government’s test platform for Open Data, was introduced. Service-BW platform is planed to be fully functioning till the end of 2018. The issue which araised during the sessions was in which extend those data can be used by citizens and what kind of licensing is necessarily to broaden the factual usage. Those questions were left opened.
Thanks the very friendly, citizen-scientish atmosphere, professional organisation, assistance as well as great location, OK Lab Stuttgart has show the real matter of Open Data (data=particular person) and potential of citizens’ participation in the democratic, digital transformation. The questions of state/city-cooperation, usage of datas which would be eventually published by the city government and licensing of datas collected by citizens were left open, giving a further spectrum of challenges waiting for state-dialog. Those, together with results of sessions and discussions are published here.
If you are interested in digital transformation in state Baden-Württemberg or if you want to know what Germany does in this direction in general, you might find the following links useful. Check also my Smart City Data Base for the whole source catalogue that I use for the blog and MC+.