Perceptual Informatics Develops Prototype for Smart City Expo World Congress.

Perceptual Informatics was tasked with developing a Smart City prototype for Microsoft at the 2019 Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The PI team delivered a functional prototype to demonstrate modern capabilities that municipalities can implement today. Microsoft Business Strategist, ShiSh Shridhar travelled to the expo and showcased Perceptual Informatics research and software (pictured below, read more at

Forests are recognized as vital natural resources for clean air, water, natural habitat and recreation. More and more today cities are recognizing that urban trees can also improve air quality, reduce road noise and serve as a source for shared cultural values for people across many ethnic backgrounds. Perceptual Informatics is working to retool its monitoring technology for natural forests to work on urban landscapes through its urban data map viewer called the Smart City Dashboard (access the demo here). This is done using radar data acquired from spaceborne satellites, and is actually an adaptation of a project Perceptual Informatics has partnered with Clemson University on to create a global database of forest degradation from radar data. Although the earliest use of radar monitoring of the Earth was achieved in the 1950's using airplanes, a lot has changed in recent years thanks to many new satellite systems with onboard radar instrument payloads that are able to image the Earth's surface weekly at high resolution. These advances in satellite capabilities are leading to wider use of this longstanding technology and also to improvements in the quality of life for people in cities.

In addition to information on demographic shifts, water usage, and air quality, this Smart City Dashboard includes a prototype map layer for testing that uses satellite radar-- a "greenzone canopy" layer that estimates the abundance of tree canopy cover along city streets, rivers, in parks and throughout the City of Barcelona. Like many cities, Barcelona already keeps track of its trees through a database of many thousands of point locations. However, still more information is needed in order to measure how well the trees are facilitating noise reduction and buffering air pollution. The greenzone canopy layer provides information on the thickness of canopy cover, which is an indicator of pollution and noise buffering capacity, and is capable of monitoring for additions and reductions in buffering capacity over time. What this allows city planners to do is to monitor where they are doing a good job in terms of serving citizens and at-risk demographic groups, as well as to project forward and plan for future needs and changing demographics on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.

Learn how Perceptual Informatics can help your municipality, contact us.

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About Perceptual Informatics:
Perceptual Informatics was launched in 2018 to transform the way environmental businesses mitigate risk and measure value. The firm has expertise in environmental science, machine learning, remote sensing, imaging, economics, and finance.

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