Mobile Phones and Rainfall

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johnlbee
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Mobile Phones and Rainfall

Postby johnlbee » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:51 am

It seems to me the headline writer takes some liberties, the study as I read it measures rainfall with strength of links between mobile telephone towers rather than phones, using phone network data.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-05/d ... es/4502314

Maybe the citizen science version of this study is a project which collects data points of signal strength between phone and network tower, positions phone, and then determines whether a person has wet pockets.

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RJN
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Re: Mobile Phones and Rainfall

Postby RJN » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:25 pm

Wow, really interesting! Thanks for posting this. - RJN

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Mobile Phones and Rainfall

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:04 pm

johnlbee wrote:It seems to me the headline writer takes some liberties, the study as I read it measures rainfall with strength of links between mobile telephone towers rather than phones, using phone network data.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-05/d ... es/4502314

Maybe the citizen science version of this study is a project which collects data points of signal strength between phone and network tower, positions phone, and then determines whether a person has wet pockets.

Agreed, this study is looking at the signal strength between towers. But it isn't hard to imagine that it could be extended to individual phones. While any one phone would provide an extremely noisy signal- indeed, it would typically be impossible to extract anything useful from one phone- I can imagine that with tens of thousands of signal sources, some sort of clever tomographic signal processing couldn't be used to extract some interesting data. Of course, that would just be looking at cellphone carrier signals, so it might not depend on any apps or active participation of the phone owners. But it's also possible that this background data could be supplemented with input from phone apps- either direct input from the phone's user, or sensor data.
Chris

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bystander
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Re: Mobile Phones and Rainfall

Postby bystander » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:11 pm

Smartphones, tablets help UW researchers improve storm forecasts
University of Washington | Hannah Hickey | 2013 Jan 06

The next advance in weather forecasting may not come from a new satellite or supercomputer, but from a device in your pocket. University of Washington atmospheric scientists are using pressure sensors included in the newest smartphones to develop better weather forecasting techniques.

Another interesting use of smart phones in monitoring and predicting weather.
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