Pachube: Realtime Sensor Data Linked to SketchUp

Pachube is a web service available at http://www.pachube.com that enables you to connect, tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices, buildings and environments around the world.

The key aim is to facilitate interaction between remote environments, both physical and virtual. If you have not heard of Pachube before it is well worth taking a look at their site and the exploring the concept which is a little bit like YouTube, except that, rather than sharing videos, Pachube enables people to monitor and share real time environmental data from sensors that are connected to the internet.

The linkages can now be visualised via SketchUp, the incoming data can be used to generate or modulate a 3D model of a building or environment, and enables sophisticated design-decisions that are based on actual (and not simulated) sensor and environment data. Possible uses include designing interactive fa├žades, undertaking post-occupancy evaluation (which is where you evaluate how well the design performs) and sensor-based form generation:

The demo details real-time water, gas and energy usage from a building management system being graphed on top of a model of the building. Although in this demo the data is merely driving simple scalar transformations to visualize energy usage, the real potential of the plug-in is to serve Pachube data to real-world design tools to directly inform design decisions in a much more sophisticated way.

Download the plug-in and see the tutorial here: http://community.pachube.com/sketchup

Picked up via UrbanTick

Author Bio

Andy is Director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London

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