Smart Campus Oulu opens versatile sensor data for IoT exploration

Expert introducing the installation map of the IoT network at the University of Oulu

Extensive live data and long-term data from the Smart Campus Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network at the University of Oulu has been opened for the first time. The data from hundreds of low-power sensors includes environmental parameters measured across the university campus and the botanical garden. The data is available for anyone to explore, free of charge.

For almost a year, 429 sensors scattered across the 135,000 m2 Linnanmaa campus and botanical garden have been measuring temperature, light, CO2, sound, and humidity, to mention a few parameters. Internet of Things (IoT) enthusiasts across the globe can now take a closer look at specific locations or type of sensors detailed in the online installation map. The measured values can be viewed in various time frames and through data visualizations offering insights into IoT technology.

Another novelty and major IoT asset is the long-term data from the 429 sensors covering 11 months. The dataset is openly available in Etsin – a Finnish online service for open research datasets from all fields of science – where it will be further expanded.

“This continuously growing, and already now a massive IoT sensor installation, is a natural part of our 5G Test Network (5GTN) serving as an experimentation infrastructure to Smart Campus development and 6G Flagship projects,” says Olli Liinamaa, 5G Test Network Lead at the University of Oulu. “By opening the data for a wider audience, we aim to boost not only technology innovations, but also early trialing of value-adding local campus services.”

The Linnanmaa campus covers a large geographic area and serves massive, very heterogeneous user group. “The most interesting part is the role of our infrastructure to bridge technology steps towards commercial use and globally scalable solutions,” Liinamaa notes. “In close co-operation between technology researchers and service developers, we are selecting the optimal set of sensors, best connectivity methods and energy sources for commercially sustainable solutions.”

The data collection builds on the LoRaWAN network – a service provided by 5GTN. “ Our approach enables us to cost-effectively cover large areas with little effort,” says Aleksi Pirttimaa, who maintains the long-term data set.  “With LoRaWAN, we can utilize a range of compatible low-power wireless sensors across vendors,  supporting our vision of a sustainable infrastructure.”

The long-term dataset published in a downloadable format can be of interest for analysts, researchers or even facility services as it makes independent analysis possible. “The dataset could be used for algorithm development or for training artificial intelligence,” Pirttimaa envisions.

The parameters including temperature and humidity are very useful for building maintenance and energy savings. “It would be interesting to see services for bigger crowd, but fully respecting the privacy, like restaurant services based on noise level, movement sensors or e.g. lidar,” notes Professor Ari Pouttu, as he elaborates on the innovation potential of the data set in different business verticals. “Such sensors can also be used for assessment of usage of different premises or security purposes e.g. during off-hours. In addition, the installations in the botanical garden may be a source for innovations for farming. The indoor positioning system could also allow for autonomous platforms moving about in the campus.”

And more is to come. Stay tuned for new open data releases of Smart Campus at the University of Oulu!

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