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Blogging Going to the Birds

I’ve seen a lot of novel things done with blogs, but this one looks like it’s at the top of my list for creative and strange uses of a blog.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Reuters, and other sources, there is an experiment in California that uses pigeons to blog about smog conditions. Yes, you read that right.

A flock of pigeons fitted with mobile phone backpacks is to be used to monitor air pollution, New Scientist magazine reported today. The 20 pigeons will be released into the skies over San Jose, California, in August.

Each bird will carry a GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone. Text messages on air quality will be beamed back in real time to a special pigeon “blog”, a journal accessible on the internet. Miniature cameras slung around the pigeons’ necks will also post aerial pictures.

Researcher Beatriz da Costa, University of California at Irvine, and two of her students came up with this novel use of a blog and an interactive map to track pollution levels. The sensors will detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air and the report will be published automatically on the blog through the use of a combination “air pollution sensor with a home-made cellphone”.

As natural city dwellers, who better to report on the state of airs in the city than pigeons. Gives a whole new meaning to metro blogging.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

One Comment

  1. Posted March 21, 2006 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, if you’re into pigeons then you’re gonna dig my blog. My name is Brian and I’m a pigeon living in London. I heard this stuff a while back about the air pollution trackers. Poor bastards. Came up with my own solution which I think works far better, has the potential for providing global results and, ultimately, is far less cruel to us pigeons.
    check it out:
    Let me know what you think.
    Your pal
    Brian P – Keepin’ it real.

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