From spatial to sensor technology: New pathways in local news | Amy Schmitz Weiss, San Diego State University

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.