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Tokyo: motorbike parked under tree

The photo shows a fairly typical scene – a motorbike parted under the bushy canopy of a small tree – positioned to protect it from some of this week’s continious Tokyo rain. Except that, despite the apparent shielding properties of the tree the rain has still soaked the motorbike.

With vehicle mounted (weather) sensors and positioning tools its possible to collect highly localised weather information – trucks, cars, motorbikes and bicyles recording and sharing in real time as they drive around the city. As you are looking where to park you know not to leave it there in that exact position because despite appearances you know the statistical likelyhood of it geting wet. For such as system to exist, who would be motivated by what reasons to share real time weather data? Who would seek to manipulate this data and in what contexts?

The challenge with all this is not to gather or even to share the data, but to sufficiently understand the user’s context to present the data in an appropriate format and time. All non-trivial tasks.