Crowdsourcing Science – new technique used for radiation measurement in Japan

While watching Public TV last night, there was a feature about a program called Safecast. According to the Safecast blog site, the effort is “a global sensor network for collecting and sharing radiation measurements to empower people with data about their environments.”

While we have seen other examples of crowdsourcing to gather information, this is the first example of gathering and applying scientific information.  I hope people create some other examples.  See comments from readers who have supplied some examples.#Safecast Probe 0001 Japan Ishinomaki

Related to this article is another one re a new capability for smart phones. From Government Security News, Nov.11: Disaster Preparedness 2011: smart phones enhanced with nanotube hazmat detectors bring a new dimension to preparedness:

The public would have a new level of personal protection against a range of fairly common airborne chemical-based toxins, as well as against terrorist attacks involving WMDs. And when sensor data is harnessed in an environmental sensing network for first responders and other organizations, it will be the dawn of a new era for disaster preparedness.
this article is another one that I just read:

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5 Responses to Crowdsourcing Science – new technique used for radiation measurement in Japan

  1. recoverydiva says:

    Thanks, John. It looks like there is a history to this, but it occurred before the term “crowdsourcing” existed to describe it.

  2. John Plodinec says:

    Oak Ridge National Lab developed “SensorNet” early ’00’s. Has been used for several monitoring projects – big problem with this sort of technology is the cost. Motorola worked with Livermore to use cell phones as sensor platforms as well. Technology worked well and was affordable; major problem was legal – fear of privacy issues.

  3. Terrific post! Everyone in Japan should be given a dosimeter and they should be kept calibrated.

    Advocacy for the issuance of massive number of dosimeters in the US seem to have ended their pleas with the end of the federal civil defense program that operated pursuant to Public Law 920 of the 81st Congerss when repealed in 1994 by Public Law 103-337!

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