AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the CrowdMap.
Using the AirCasting Android app, AirCasters can record, map, and share:
- Sound levels recorded by their phone microphone;
- Temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas concentrations recorded by the Arduino-powered AirCasting Air Monitor;
- Heart rate, heart rate variability, R to R, breathing rate, activity level, peak acceleration and core temperature measurements recorded by the Zephyr BioHarness 3; and
- Heart rate measurements recorded by the Zephyr HxM.
Using AirCasting Luminescence, these sensor streams can also be represented using LED lights.
To start recording, mapping, and sharing sound level data for your neighborhood, simply download the AirCasting app to your Android device and press record. Want to record Air Quality data? Download the AirCasting Air Monitor DIY guide and build your own Arduino-powered air monitor.
ATTN Hardware DevelopersIt's simple to connect your own custom-designed sense device to the AirCasting app to display and record sensor measurements. Just do the following:
- Download the AirCasting Arduino sketch, which controls the sensors and sends data to the app via Bluetooth.
- Alter the Arduino sketch to communicate your sensor data.
- Use the AirCasting app to send your data to the AirCasting servers for display on the AirCasting website. Want to send the data to your own servers? Just specify the URL in the AirCasting app settings, “Menu” > “Settings” > “Backend settings”.
AirCasting is an open source project. You can access the code repositories for the AirCasting Android app and the AirCasting web app through GitHub. YourKit is kindly supporting this open source project with its full-featured Java Profiler.
AirCasting Luminescence uses a IOIO microcontroller connected to the AirCasting app over Bluetooth to illuminate LEDs in response to the sensor measurements received by the AirCasting app: green for low intensity, then yellow, then orange, and red for high intensity. AirCasting Luminescence was developed to communicate sensor measurements without the normally required reference to a screen interface and to spark interaction between AirCasters and people located in their immediate vicinity. Download the AirCasting Luminescent Apparel DIY guide to make a fashion statement with your sensor measurements.
Monitor Your Heart Rate
Connect the Zephyr HxM heart rate monitor to the AirCasting app and measure how your heart rate responds to your activity level, location, and exposure to noise and air pollution.
Monitor Your Heart, Breathing & ActivityConnect the Zephyr BioHarness 3 to the AirCasting app to monitor your heart rate, heart rate variability, R to R, breathing rate, activity level, peak acceleration, and core temperature.
How to Use the AirCasting Maps
The health and environmental data collected by AirCasters can be filtered and displayed on the AirCasting website maps using one of two views: “CrowdMap” and “Sessions”. Use the tabs on the filter menu located on the right hand side of the screen to toggle between the two. The CrowdMap view is the default.
The CrowdMap displays AirCasting data from all contributors. Each square’s color corresponds to the average intensity of all the measurements recorded in that area. Click on a square to view the underlying data. Refer to the “Heat Legend Units” to identify the intensity range for a square. For example, an orange square corresponds to an average sound level between 71 and 80 decibels. If no colors are displayed, there’s no data in that area. Note that the relationship between measurement ranges and colors can be adjusted using the “Heat Legend Units” filter. By default the CrowdMap displays sound level data from phone microphones. To view data from other sensors, use the “Parameter - Sensor” filter. You can also filter the CrowdMap by “Location”, “Time Range”, “Tags”, or “Profile Names”. Increase the “CrowdMap Resolution” to display averages for smaller areas. Click “submit” to display your filter selections.
The Sessions map displays the routing and intensity information for AirCasting sessions. To view a session, select a session from the “Sessions List” located on the left hand side of the page. A dot’s color corresponds to a measurement’s intensity at that location. Refer to the “Heat Legend Units” to identify the intensity range for a measurement. For example, a yellow dot corresponds to a sound level measurement between 61 and 70 decibels. Note that the relationship between measurement ranges and colors can be adjusted using the “Heat Legend Units” filter. Hover your mouse over a dot to generate a tooltip with the exact measurement. Filter the AirCasting Sessions list by “Parameter - Sensor”, “Location”, “Time Range”, “Tags”, or “Profile Names”. Click “submit” to refresh the Sessions list. To view multiple sessions at once, you must first select a “Parameter - Sensor”. To graph the measurements from a single session, toggle the “Sessions Graph” arrow at the bottom of the screen. Hover your mouse over the graph to see the corresponding location on the map along with the measurement for that time period. Zoom in on the graph by clicking and dragging with your mouse or clicking the time frame buttons at the top of the graph. When zoomed in, pan through the data using the slider at the bottom of the graph.
To get a better view of the map, hide page elements by toggling the arrow in the upper right hand corner. Generate and share a permalink using the permalink button in the upper right hand corner or simply copy and paste the address from the browser window.
AirCasting is a HabitatMap Project
HabitatMap is a non-profit environmental health justice organization whose goal is to raise awareness about the impact the environment has on human health. We build tools to support grassroots environmental organizing, including HabitatMap.org - our community mapping platform - and AirCasting.
To Andrzej Grzesik andLunar Logic Polska for coding the AirCasting website and app; to Dr. Iem Heng and Raymond Yap for designing, programming, assembling and testing the AirCasting Air Monitor and AirCasting Luminescent Vest electronics; to Dr. Andy Zhang for designing and printing the AirCasting Air Monitor casings; (Dr. Heng, Dr. Zhang and Mr. Yap are part of City Tech Mechatronics Technology Center); to Tim Dye for big ideas and constructive feedback; to Valentine Leung for designing and making the AirCasting Luminescent Vest garment; and to Brooke Singer for helping steer the project in the right direction.
Start-up funding for AirCasting was provided by a Google Earth Outreach Developer Grant from the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. Additional funds provided by: the New York Community Trust through a partnership between HabitatMap, New York Hall of Science, and Hive Learning Network NYC; the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program through a partnership between HabitatMap and Newtown Creek Alliance; the Environmental Protection Agency Citizen Science program through a partnership between HabitatMap and Sustainable South Bronx; the Mozilla Foundation Hive Fashion program through a partnership between HabitatMap, Parsons the New School for Design, and New York Hall of Science; and the Grey Area Arts Foundation through a partnership between HabitatMap, Sonoma Technology, and AethLabs.
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