In July 2015, Silvia Nittel, Lars Bodum, Keith Clarke, Michael Gould, Paulo Raposo, Jayant Sharma, and Maria Vasardani served as members of the “Emerging Technological Trends likely to Affect GIScience in the Next 20 Years” panel, which was part of the Twenty Year Anniversary of the International Early-Career Scholars Summer Institutes in Geographic Information Vespucci Institute in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2015. In this book chapter, the panelists summarize their findings about major technological developments that potentially will required novel research in GIScience.
Find the paper here.
We published a new article in the SIGSPATIAL Newsletter, Vol 7(2), July 2015. The article is a gentle introduction to real-time sensor data streams and efficient data management technologies.
Find the .pdf here.
S. Nittel, 2015, “Real-time Sensor Data Streams“, SIGSPATIAL Newsletter, Special Issue “Geosensor Networks”, Vol 7(2), pp. 22-28.
Our project, entitled “III: Small: From Real-Time Sensor Data Streams to Continuous Field Data Models: Formal Foundations and Computational Challenges,”(PI: Silvia Nittel, Co-PI: Max Egenhofer) was funded by the National Science Foundation. The award has started Sep. 01, 2015.
See the announcement here.
Massive sensor data streams are created from the automatic collection of sensor data in high frequency and in near real-time today. This project aims to advance the analytical potential of live-streamed data, historical data streams, and model simulations by creating an overarching representation in the form of the field data model with a set of operators that establish the field algebra.
A field is best explained as, for example, a magnetic field; the magnetic force can be determined for each point in a magnetic field and the field is therefore considered to be continuous. Similarly, environmental phenomena such as air pollution or flooding are considered to be continuous in space and time although they are sampled at limited, discrete time-space locations with sensors. This project develops the field algebra which is an intuitive, yet mathematically defined formalism to represent real-world phenomena as fields and to express analytical needs as canonical operations over fields. The field model represents phenomena as continuous entities again, and the implementation hides the fact that their spatio-temporal continuity is calculated on the-fly based on real-time measurements streams.
Extending sensor data streams to fields is transformative, as rarely a domain scientist is interested in the readings of individual sensors. Allowing scientists to work with high-level abstractions will significantly enhance their analytical tasks such as finding insights about changes, trends, or unexpected events happening in the real world. The project will integrate fields and data streams mathematically so that mappings between both are well-defined. The field data model is complemented by the development of an innovative computational framework for synthesizing and analyzing fields based on very large numbers of high throughput, real-time sensor data streams, and for creating continuous representations on-the-fly. This framework provides novel algorithms to assure that the field operators can absorb the throughput of very large numbers of sensor data streams, yet still compute complex analytical results in near real-time. This project will benefit our society by enabling us to react to situations such as extreme weather events, environmental disasters or chemical accidents immediately, and organize response effort based on accurate and timely information; this will help to protect the public interests better.
More information and results will be made available on the project website (http://www.spatial.maine.edu/~nittel/s2f.html).
I would like to welcome three new graduate students in the Geosensor Networks Lab!
Joel Whitney pursues a Master of Science in Spatial Information Science and Engineering; he recently earned a B.S. in Ecology from UMaine, and has been a field manager for Cherryfield Farms for several years (our blueberry expert!)
Oghenetega (or Tega) Dibie has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Maine, and also pursues a Master of Science in Spatial Information Science and Engineering.
David Fedorchak pursues a PhD in Spatial Information Science and Engineering; he received a M.S. of Spatial Information Science and Engineering in 2000, and has 20 years of work experience in military sensor applications.
Yesterday, we wrapped up the Arduino summer camp with using Xbee radio communication to send data from the Arduino node to the laptop. It involved some soldering to build the radios from inexpensive components. It was a first for Katie and me, and Katie produced the most perfect little ‘hershey kisses’ dollups right away. Way to go!
How it all started:
Communication with Xbee base station and Xbee radio on Arduino board
Katie practice soldering
Moving on to the real deal
professors are not exempt
Wrapping up the Arduino summer camp 2015
Today, after a year of discussions, finding funds, designing, ordering, building, testing, in the lab and in my garden, we finally deployed the 3-node wireless soil moisture sensor network in a blueberry barren at Cherryfield Farms Inc. It’s up and running!
The individual nodes consist of an Arduino node, a solar panel for battery power, an Xbee radio for wireless communication, and a soil moisture sensor each. The Arduinos are enclosed in weather-proof boxes, and the soil moisture sensors are deploy horizontally at 3.5 inch depth since the root system of blueberries is shallow. The base station is a Raspberry Pi that is powered off an in-field power station that Cherryfield Farms uses for its controlled irrigation system, and also uses an Xbee radio, writing the data locally to flash.
Everything is up and running, and the sensors send data every 5 minutes.
Joel and J.C. sorting out the nodes.
Raspberry pi base station to the right.
Node 1 — with a view of a small section of the blueberry barren
Node 2 — (Node 1 is close to the left upper half near the tree line and the ‘antenna’)
Waiting for the data to come in
The team — Joel Whitney (MSIS student and Cherryfield field manager), Silvia Nittel (faculty), J.C. Whittier (Phd student)