Rain as data in Smart Cities

Andrea Sorri

In many ways, we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential for network cameras as intelligent sensors. And while IP cameras have traditionally been seen as primarily supporting safety and security, some of the most interesting new applications – particularly within Smart Cities – are coming from areas beyond surveillance.

A great example comes from Italy, where start-up and Axis partner WaterView has created an on-board camera rain detection application based on its innovative and patented IR2 technology. A spin-off from the Politecnico di Torino, WaterView’s technology measures the intensity of precipitation in real-time from images captured by surveillance IP cameras and smartphones where the falling raindrops are visible.

Rain’s role in making cities smarter and safer

Rain is a crucial variable in a Smart City, and this on-board camera algorithm allows municipalities and civil protection agencies to collect useful and actionable data. This information not only allows for more accurate weather forecasting, but also increases situational awareness, gathering a more precise overview on when, where and how much rain falls which in turn helps to improve rescue countermeasures in case of emergency.

waterview dashboard

Matching rainfall data with increases in traffic can also deliver improved transport management, while when combined with other data, such as the sewer pollution rate, can return significant insights on water composition and air quality for multiple uses.

WaterView will take part in the Meteorological Technology World Expo 2017, the world’s most important meteorological fair, to showcase this solution developed for Axis Communications network cameras as the most efficient and cost-effective way to measure rainfall in real time.

If you’re at the Expo, which takes place at RAI Amsterdam from 10-12 October 2017, head to Hall 3, Stand 7090 to meet the WaterView team and find Axis IP cameras in an unusual, but very useful, context.