Practice exercises

Here are weblinks to provide additional resources so that you can complete the below exercises:

Click on the following links, which will open in a new window.

Exercise 1: Viewing sensor network data online

One website that is attempting to combine the various static and near-real-time transit network datasets is the Transit Visualization Client, or TRAVIC, a collaborative project between the company geOps and the University of Freiburg. By combining published transit data from transit operators around the world and overlaying the data on OpenStreetMap, the site provides a useful visualization of the estimated location and departure/arrival times of many networks of buses, trains, and ferries.

Another site that attempts to combine multiple sensor networks is called Thingful, a web service that calls itself “a search engine for the internet of things”. On the site you can access multiple sensor networks on one map interface, from air traffic to personal weather stations to tagged sea turtles. Thingful also lets you search for sensors near your current location, as well as tag specific sensors to track over time.

Exercise 2: Downloading sensor data and the Sensor Observation Service standard

Many of the sensors across the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) take advantage of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) sensor standards to help facilitate data manipulation and translation across multiple networks. For example, NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center provides access to an SOS for retrieving near-real-time data on air and water temperature, waves, wind, and more.

Exercise 3: Capturing near-real-time sensor data with R

The rNOMADS package reference manual is available online at

For documentation on NOAA’s Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS) datasets, go to

Exercise 4: Creating a temperature sensor

You will need to download and install the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in order to run the software code that will control your Arduino open source microcontroller. To access the IDE software, navigate to  and download the appropriate software for your operating system.