Chicago urban data project Array of Things receives $3M NSF grant

The University of Chicago announced today that it has received a $3.1 million award from the National Science Foundation for the Array of Things project, which will deploy environmental sensors throughout the city. The resulting data sets — which will include variables such as temperature, noise levels, traffic density, and air quality measurements — will be made available to researchers, app developers, and the public through an open database.

Array of Things could shed light on public health issues, direct new transportation strategies, improve weather forecasting, or give rise to more creative uses that provide as-yet-unanticipated benefits to the city and its residents.

“Array of Things will provide a level of detail not available in any city today,” said Charlie Catlett, the lead researcher on the project, in a university news release. “This data will enable scientists, policymakers and citizens to work together to diagnose urban challenges and design solutions.”

Catlett is joined by colleagues from the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They plan to work with the city of Chicago to start deploying Array of Things hardware in early 2016, with up to 500 nodes in place by the end of 2017.

See our previous coverage of Array of Things to learn more.

Related: Anatomy of a Smart City, Sense Your City Data Art Challenge, Future Cities Catapult,NUSwan