After several days of rain, today was sunny if chilly. It was also the national science weekend, and the local hackerspace Bitlair held an open house. I knew about them, but never visited and was curious. Their space is about 4km away, and the little one wanted to come along so we cycled there.

The space was as to be expected, with 3d printers, a laser cutter, and lots of micro electronics, led lights, and of course Club Mate. Friendly enough people, but didn’t get a communal sense nor felt something that resonates with me.

Parked outside the space was a bicycle with a sensor kit attached. It’s a so called ‘sniffer bike‘. I knew about the project which collects sensor data on particulate matter along cycling routes, but thought they were only active in the neighbouring city of Utrecht. I scanned the QR code, and had a look at the site. Realising they are now active in our city as well, I registered as an interested volunteer. So maybe I’ll have a sensor kit on my bicycle in the near future too.

The data is being collected in Civity’s, with which I’ve worked before (amongst others in the Frisian data platform). Their map with sniffer bike data traces currently indeed shows traces in our part of town.

The little one and I had some fun conversations en route. She asked me if I knew anyone living in the houses we cycled past. We stood on the motor way overpass and looked at traffic for a bit but it was quickly judged as too noisy, and she’s right. Maybe soon I’ll also have a notion about the accompanying particulate matter pollution.