The Open Source movement has generated a counter culture of technically clever people, some within traditional business and others not, but who are at the least the equals of those in many corporations. This movement did not go away, as many predicted in the 1980s but has produced a couple of generations of freer thinkers than many corporate environments would like.
That is shifting to Open Hardware. And to the clever application of interlinked sensor devices to take applications like technically robust environmental monitoring down to the citizen level. (...)
With hordes of independent individuals taking radiation readings and sending the real time data streams the true scale and intensities of the damage were published immediately for all to see, upstaging the authorities (see report here).
Many of these groups are using Cosm's open API platform for sharing real time data streams from sensors. The scale and range of measurements publicly available for all to see is large and growing - see for yourself here. Cosm - formerly Pachube - is a case of a great British idea that ended up going to a US company.
The Air Quality Egg Initiative, for example, as well as MeetUp groups in Madrid, Amsterdam and New York and elsewhere, are currently looking to take environmental measurements using low cost sensor devices that are being adopted and adapted in the community. They are not loking to take “tick-box” measurements but socially relevant ones.