This is a fascinating project. A group of homing pigeon fanciers in Southern California developed, on their own, a “bird backpack” with pollution sensors, GPS, and GSM radio. This backpack is then strapped to the pigeons who fly around and collect data and transmit is back to base as SMS messages every 60 seconds. The data is then mashed up with Google Maps.
PigeonBlog enlists homing pigeons to participate in a grassroots scientific data gathering initiative designed to collect and distribute information about air quality conditions to the general public. Pigeons are equipped with custom-built miniature air pollution sensing devices enabled to send the collected localized information to an online server without delay. Pollution levels are visualized and plotted in real-time over Googleâ€™s mapping environment, thus allowing immediate access to the collected information to anyone with connection to the Internet.