Spatial and sensor technology can add another layer to local news coverage and give citizens access to granular information, such as air quality for a specific block.
Sensors can measure light, temperature or air quality, and reporters can make sensors themselves or purchase them (prices vary from under a $100 to about a $1,000).
Sensors can lead to powerful journalism, such as showing the extreme heat or cold in neighborhoods that lack adequate climate control.
Sensors can provide valuable, in-depth information to a community. In a survey of readers of coverage based on sensors, San Diego State found 84 percent said the coverage helped them understand air quality in their area.