Data flows in Biomodd could involve harvesting data
about various aspects of the installation (e.g., water temperature, air
temperature, humidity, light levels) and then turning into something
interesting and/or useful, such as:
- Assessing the health of
the installation and broadcasting it online (through a set of dynamic,
interactive images, or textually like the plant that blogs about itself, etc.) This would be an example of data visualization, which is a way of visually telling a story based on numerical data.
the data to control the actions of a robot arm that could be installed
in the installation (e.g., if there's not enough water in the system,
the robot arm dumps some from a container)
- Using the data to change properties in the game, like colours and textures.
could also flow in other directions. For example, values harvested in
the game could determine the light levels in the installation.
You can d
esign and build the data visualization/data utilization components of Biomodd.
can actually help build the data visualization tools with Processing (a
programming language) and a hardware sensing system based on Arduino
- Contribute to the section on data visualization on the Biomodd Do-It-Yourself manual
if we don't have Biomodd data to work with right now, we can use
real-time plant data shared with us by FoAM from Belgium. This data is
in the form of an RSS feed: http://www.pachube.com/feeds/1951
. Learn more about it from http://lib.fo.am/plant_sensing
The Data Flow Diagram
It's important that you see this blog entry
and the diagram in it in order to understand the primary goal of this subteam, which is to manage, manipulate, image, and enable user interaction with the data presented in the diagram.
How to get started with this subteam
Read the data flow diagram
See the previous section
Figure out the questions
Ben Fry's book, he points out that the first thing that needs to happen
in a data visualization activity is to figure out a question (or the questions) that the
data viz is supposed to answer. What is it that we want to know? (I can lend you Ben Fry's book.)
Request for edit access to the Biomodd site
So that you can edit this page. We can create subpages if needed.
Log in here
Start learning about visualization
- View this Powerpoint-style presentation to get an overview of data visualization. You can skip the section on visualizing Noli Me Tangere.
- Learn about Processing programming language: www.processing.org
- Download the Processing programming environment: www.processing.org/download
- Learn how to use Processing: www.processing.org/learning
(Diego has two very good and thorough books that he can lend you: one on
Processing, and one on visualizing data using Processing. Email Diego for
- Learn about Arduino boards: www.arduino.cc
- Various resources on data visualization: www.delicious.com/dmaranan/visualization
- Pachube: the RSS site for environmental data: www.pachube.com
sending out an email to the Biomodd team list that is specifically
about data flows and visualization, start your subject with [DATAVIZ]. This helps us keep track of all data flows/viz email threads.
See the master todo list for Biomodd
And see the section labelled [DATAVIZ]. Ask Diego for the login details to do this.
Data we could collect from the installation
- NUMERICAL DATA: Using a combination of sensors and Arduino boards (see the photo above!), we could collect time-based data on the following aspects of the sculpture:
- Water temperature (we have a digital sensor, but not yet sure how to waterproof it)
- Air temperature (using a digital sensor)
- Air humidity (using a digital sensor)
- Soil humidity (we have a digital humidity sensor, but not yet sure how to waterproof it)
- Physical data
- Water level in aquarium (not yet sure how, but using some kindof mechanical sensor)
- Algae growth (using a light sensor that can detect how dense the algae is)
- Plant growth (using a distance sensor that measures how far the sensor is from another surface)
- VIDEO: We stream a live webcam feed of the general interior of the sculpture as well as a Robot Arm Zen Garden
The data server and data formats
The following shows the data that should be in the data stream harvested from the sculpture. Datatypes in red have not yet been implemented (i.e., we want to get this data but we haven't rigged any sensors that can actually do it yet.) We should probably implement this in a standards-compliant format like EEML.