A presentation to the Atlantic Association of Planning Technicians Annual Meeting on June 12, 2019 in Sackville, NB.
Collecting and Visualizing
Real Time Environment Data
in the City of Charlottetown
Atlantic Association of Planning Technicians
June 12, 2019
Reinvented Inc., Charlottetown
The Story Begins
I became interested in
where we get our electricity
on Prince Edward Island.
Golf at 50BPM by user707748013
W&W - Bigfoot (Uriel M Deephouse Remix) by urielm
155% of our electricity
load from the wind
10:30 p.m. 7:30 a.m.
• Sensors are cheap, and there are a lot of things
we can measure.
• Being peripherally aware of things we can
measure can positively alter our behaviour.
• Data communication via wiﬁ is a technical and
support challenge, and doesn’t scale.
Measure Your City
• LoRa = Long Range (and low power)
• LoRaWAN is a networking protocol for connecting
gateways and devices.
• Excellent for transmitting small amounts of data over
long distances with little power.
• Helps solve the “data communication over wiﬁ is a
customer support nightmare” issue.
• Helps solve the “wiﬁ devices use a lot of power” issue.
Sensor Network Around Charlottetown’s Key Surroundings
• Sensor nodes (low-powered Arduino boards) broadcast
readings, which are picked up by strategically-placed The
Things Network gateways.
• Gateways send readings to The Things Network.
• Application on The Things Network sends readings to
Amazon IoT service where they are archived in a
• A web application visualizes the archived readings.
• Battery management in oﬀ-the-shelf LoRaWAN-equipped
Arduino devices isn’t great (~2 weeks battery life or less).
• “Onboarding” a new sensor node is more complicated
than it needs to be.
• Visualization technique hasn’t been real-world-tested yet,
so we don’t know if it’s optimal.
• Work on battery life issues (possibly adopting
Amersfoort’s custom board).
• Look at a broader range of sensors (particulate matter,
solar radiation, radon, sound, etc.)
• Explore the possibilities of using LoRaWAN to manage
water and electricity meters at scale.
• Roll out devices to citizens and start to gather data.
• Continue to be curious.
Slides at https://l.ruk.ca/aapt