GROW Observatory: making an impact

Since joining this project last August, we’ve deployed a whole lot of soil sensors across our landscape and spent more than a few hours collecting and uploading data, without having any real sense of the big picture, i.e.: What is the full scope and distribution of this Citizens Observatory? and what insight can we derive from the data gathered thus far?

Well… Results are only just starting to come back from The Observatory, but the picture is pretty encouraging already, at least a far as the first question is concerned. Here’s a rough picture of how senso deployment nodes are distributed around Europe:

Map of GROW sites around Europe

As you can see, there’s quite a significant cluster of bubbles centered around the SW corner of Europe -quite out of proportion to its relative poppulation. Moreover, as we zoom in on the Ibertian peninsula, the data reveals an even more surprising truth:

Map of GROW sites around Europe

With a population and landmass a good few times larger than that of Portugal, one would expect Spain to represent the lion’s share of presence in this network, but not so. Moreover: It’s not Lisbon or Porto making all the noise in this observatory, but rather the sleepy south of country. Go, GROW-PT team!

So with all these sensors in the ground, what have we learned so far? With these hundreds of data loggers taking readings every 15 minutes, it’s easy to get lost in the detail… But for a consolidated view of data from just our farm, this visualization just in from the Observatory gives a pretty fair picture:

Preliminary analysis of soil readings from Vale da Lama

Though one can discern trends easily enough from the line graphs for SSM and Temperature, i can’t say as i really understand the Moisture Model… But i’ve put an inquiry to the data science dep’t, and expect to be hearing something back soon. Meanwhile: kinda like that famous “Blue Marble” shot, the first view of earth from space, this is a milestone in our Citizens Observatory - something to celebrate, for sure!