Real time data from the Hudson

Imagine the Ottawa River Keeper having access to this type of data! Or for the folks along the St-Laurent Sea Way! How wonderful for citizens to be able to view a 3D model of their rivers and their conditions at any time of day!

This is exactly what is going on along the Hudson where IBM and the Beacon Institute, a nonprofit scientific-research organization in NY are collaborating on the development of the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) which is a

distributed-processing hardware and analytical software, the system designed to take heterogeneous data from a variety of sources and make sense of it in real time. The software learns to recognize data patterns and trends and prioritizes useful data. If some data stream begins to exhibit even minor variations, the system automatically redirects resources toward it. The system will also be equipped with IBM’s visualization technologies; fed with mapping data, they can create a virtual model of the river and simulate its ecosystem in real time.

The type of data that will be gathered from sensor reports are

temperature, pressure, salinity, dissolved oxygen content, and pH levels, which will indicate whether pollutants have entered the river. Other sensors will be directed toward sea life, says Nierzwicki-Bauer, and will be used to study species and determine how communities of microscopic organisms change over time.

It is expected there will be many hundreds of sensor required for this project that will rely on fibre optic cables and wireless technologies. Eventually the system will be connected to Ocean sensor and monitoring networks.


Ah! Nice to see some exciting data collecting activities!

Networking the Hudson River: The Hudson could become the world’s largest environmental-monitoring system. By Brittany Sauser.