Pachube fits into the idea of collective knowledge because all of the information that it contains is generated by its users, who use a premade structure to fill with content that they produce.
"Pachube ("patch-bay") connects people to devices, applications, and the Internet of Things. As a web-based service built to manage the world's real-time data, Pachube gives people the power to share, collaborate, and make use of information generated from the world around them."
Internet of Things: uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an internet-like structure. If all objects of daily life were equipped with radio tags, they could be inventoried and identified by computers. Unique identification of things may be achieved through other means, such as barcodes or 2D codes.
Real-time data: information that is delivered immediately after collection. Real-time data is often used for navigation and tracking.
Semantic web: a man-made woven web of data that enables machines to understand the meaning of information on the web.
Pachube uses its API as a way of providing its main function rather than through the website. It acts as a connecting platform between real-time data and the Internet of Things. Using an API enables a much more efficient link between the sensor and the end application.
Within Pachube it is possible to create feeds. In which numerous values can be recorded. The image on the left is an example of an active feed which documents various values, such as light and temperature around a Finnish biological station.
The creator of the feed will attach a set of tags that will categorise the feed and give information on the location of where the feed is being recorded from.
The data put into Pachube is then plotted onto a series of graphs, these two describing the relationship between temperature/time and air quality/time.
Pachube was used in the creation of the Japan Geiger map, where real-time readings of radiation levels were fed into Pachube from sensors scattered over the country.
The output data was plotted onto a Google map.
When news broke of the nuclear crisis the information provided by the media was not comprehensive enough. By providing a live feed of radiation levels, subscribers to the feed are given an instant reading of the fluxuations in radiation in various locations around Japan.
API: (application programming interface).
When two programs communicate with each other, the asking software uses a set of standardised requests which are called API. The API acts as a connecting platform between the input information and output application. The API will dictate how every function of that application is performed, therefore a programs API defines how to properly request services from it.
Pachube differs from a standard API because it allows users to interact with it. The advantages of this are that it has the ability to; search and find feeds, create and manage feeds and to use apps for visualisation and control. Pachube is an open API which means that its feeds are searchable and shareable, however there is also the option to increase privacy by restricting who can see the information.
Pachube as an API
feeds are environments that represent a group of datastreams.
a datastream represents an individual device/sensor stream within a feed.
I created this diagram to show how an API acts as a 'babel fish' allowing different languages to communicate to eachother.
The Babel Fish (0:25)
The Hitchhikers Guide
A babel fish acts as a translator allowing communication between different languages.
Pachube & Arduino
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping hardware and software. It enables designer to create interactive objects or environments.
Arduino can be used in combination with Pachube. During a workshop I explored the relationship between the two programs, creating a light sensor from an Arduino board then using Processing, a script was written to record the light levels and send them to a Pachube feed. This feed was linked to a second board with a motor which would turn on when the Pachube feed read above a certain level.