The City of Greater Geelong is seeking to partner with the community for a project which aims to improve the accuracy of local weather data.
The Weather Together project invites community members to host a weather sensor in their backyard or workplace to increase the data-collection capacity across the municipality and enhance the information on the city’s temperature and humidity levels.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) currently has two weather observation stations - one at Avalon and one at the Geelong Racecourse. The new network will enable the City, BOM and weather-sensitive industries including agriculture and aviation to study real-time variations in weather at the hyper-local level.
Mayor Stephanie Asher said the data will further support the City to make evidence-based planning decisions. “Our weather can be unpredictable so every piece of information we, as a community, collect from Anakie to Ocean Grove will be helpful,” the Mayor said. “This Smart City project will help us to better understand and respond to extreme weather events and environmental issues, and make more informed decisions about how we manage heat in the city. The weather fascinates many of us, so if you’re a budding Jane Bunn or you’d just like to participate in an interesting citizen science project, we encourage you to get involved.”
A group of community members who participated in ‘Internet of Things Kickstarter’ during Geelong Design Week 2021 will be the first to collect weather data, seizing the opportunity to apply their learnings during the 12-month trial.
The sensors will use the City’s Internet of Things (IoT) network, The Things Network Geelong. The data will be available on the open data platform, Geelong Data Exchange, making it easy for anyone to access and analyse.
Innovative Solutions portfolio Chair, Councillor Peter Murrihy said supporting technology and data literacy is one of the ways we can encourage innovative industries and solutions in the region. “The new Smart City Strategic Framework endorsed by Council in March is all about using innovative technology to create a more liveable, sustainable and thriving region,” Cr Murrihy said. “The project will use low-cost and low-powered IoT sensors, ensuring the network can be easily expanded as needed.”