Chapter 8. Real-Time, Geo-Tagged Data Sharing with Pachube
Your weather data doesn’t have to be lonely. Pachube is a London-based database service center through which developers (like you) can connect geographically-oriented sensor data to the Web and share it with others.
(Yes, it looks like it should be pronounced “patch-OOO-bee,” but it is in fact pronounced “patch-bay.” This is a geek inside joke of such depth and complexity it would take several pages to explain it. The short version is that in engineering, a patch bay is a place to hook lots of different electronic devices together, and that’s exactly what Pachube does.)
Through the use of fairly simple application programming interfaces (APIs), Pachube can take data from your environmental monitoring device, store it online, and graph it for others to see online. If enough people put enough data into Pachube, a great deal of information can emerge.
Pachube was primarily a geek thing until March 2011, when a major earthquake and tsunami led to reactor meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power station. Unhappy with the radiation information they were getting from their government, many Japanese makers did exactly what you’re about to do—they connected their Geiger counters to the Internet, geo-tagged the readings, and shared that data online. This enabled them to create and share radiation maps of Japan quickly and independently of data provided by either the power utility or the government.