James Galley, Co-founder of software development agency Tariff Street, documents his participation in the #smartmcr launch workshop, FutureEverything’s new environmental sensing project. #smartmcr is part of Smart Citizen, the world’s largest independent environment sensing network. This post originally appeared on the Tariff Street blog, and is reproduced with their kind permission.

Tariff Street were thrilled to be selected as one of the handful of individuals and organisations who are part of the roll-out of the Smart Citizen data project in Manchester.

Our first experience of the devices was at a workshop run by FutureEverything and the creators of the Smart Citizen Kits (SCKs), Barcelona based Fab Lab . In one evening at Manchester Science Park we learnt about the concept of Smart Citizen, the technology behind it, and its aims.

Smart Citizen is a platform to generate participatory processes of people in the cities. Connecting data, people and knowledge, the objective of the platform is to serve as a node for building productive and open indicators, and distributed tools, and thereafter the collective construction of the city for its own inhabitants.

The Smart Citizen project is based on geolocation, Internet and free hardware and software for data collection and sharing, and (in a second phase) the production of objects; it connects people with their environment and their city to create more effective and optimized relationships between resources, technology, communities, services and events in the urban environment.

In short – environmental sensors connected to the internet, sending data periodically to a central database.

We left the workshop with our new SCK, and the next day installed it into our studio to begin collecting data.


A key aspect of the Smart Citizen project is the REST API, which allows you to access the data from your device, and eventually (hopefully) from the entire global dataset.

I set up a quick PHP cURL script to grab our devices data, and here it is – if our SCK is working ok, this data should be pretty much live:

Title Tariff Street Studio
Location Gt Man, United Kingdom
Latitude 53.483747953174950
Longitude -2.236152483901980
Timestamp 2014-08-13 13:36:04
Temp 20.3°c
Humidity 56%
Carbon Monoxide (CO) 166.65KΩ
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO²) 112.78KΩ
Light 2246.4LUX
Noise 50dB
Wifi Networks 15

There is also a web interface where you can see all the installed sensors across the globe, and register yourself. Visit smartcitizen.me for more information.


There are further workshops planned to allow the Manchester group to share ideas and collaborate on ways to use the data from our SCKs. We’re looking forward to using ours more fully, and later to be able to query and analyse data from Manchester as a whole.