The challenge

To create social, economic and environmental benefits from Tasmania’s sensor networks

Tasmania’s existing sensor networks are owned by a range of government departments, energy and water utilities and businesses, and they haven’t been connected together in any meaningful way.

This makes it difficult to create the rich data sets necessary to analyse relationships across the whole economy, which can lead to social, economic and environmental benefits for the state.

Our response

Creating one big network from many small ones

We’re partnering with the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government to create Sense-T, the world's first economy-wide sensor network that monitors environmental conditions right across Tasmania.

Sense-T brings the existing sensor networks together and adds a range of new cutting-edge sensors, as well as historical and spatial data, to build a digital view of the whole state.

These rich data sets will allow us to look at relationships across the whole economy, not just individual industries or communities, and we can analyse how things impact on each other and the environment, and look for better ways to do things.

About Sense-T

Narrator: Guess what happens when you take a planet and put seven billion people on it?

[An animation of planet Earth with people landing on it plays on screen]

They build an alarmingly complex beast we call an economy.

[Image changes to show an animation of man with food, shelter and items representing health and happiness]

It’s how people keep themselves fed, sheltered, healthy and happy.

[Image changes to show tiled image of the above-described picture]

They all look after their own little economic pieces. But, in a modern economy all these pieces interact in complex and sometimes unexpected ways.

[Image changes to show an animated map of Australia with markers over different areas]

Petrol supply effects transport cost, which effects fresh food availability.

[Image changes to show markers with symbols representing the fields as described-above popping up on the animated map of Australia]

Water quality effects seafood production, which effects restaurant prices.

[Image changes to show markers with symbols representing the fields as described-above popping up on the animated map of Australia]

Weather effects energy use, which effects our environmental impact.

[Image changes to show markers with symbols representing the fields as described-above popping up on the animated map of Australia]

But we don’t have all the numbers on this stuff and the numbers we have are all kept separate. If we don’t have the data on how the machine is working now, how do we make it work better? With a growing population how can the machine keep up without people breaking the planet they’re sitting on?

[Image changes to show a crack appearing in the animated map between mainland Australia and Tasmania]

In Tasmania Sense-T has been creating a solution.

[Image changes to show the camera zoom in on the animated map of Tasmania as a vacuum labelled Sense-T moves in and sucks up all the markers]

We collect all the data we can from the whole economy, historical, spatial and real-time.

[Image changes to show animated symbols representing economy, historical, spatial and real-time objects being placed in a blender. Camera zooms in on the On button and a blending noise can be heard]

We help people get census in place to get more data and get it straight away. We mix all that data together like a mathematical smoothie, then with careful privacy protections give it back to businesses, researchers, governments and communities.

[Image changes to show Sense-T markers popping up on different places of the animated map]

They can see connections they never knew were there. Build powerful apps. See where waste is happening. Do research on the cutting edge. Inform consumers like never before. Make existing systems more profitable and better for the environment. Create new, sustainable systems then share what we’ve learned in Tasmania with the rest of the world. We could even share the Sense-T system to help other parts of the world with their challenges.

Sense-T collects, relates and distributes data about our whole economy, so we can live sustainably with all this planets’ inhabitants.

[An animation of planet Earth appears on screen with text: Sense-T, from sensing to intelligence. Sense-T is a partnership between the University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the Tasmanian Government. It is also funded by the Australian Government]


The results

Making data available to the community

Sense-T is established on the premise that we all benefit by sharing data, so long as privacy is protected. Sense-T is putting in place best practice data policies and procedures with the support of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sense-T draws real-time data into a cloud, to be aggregated with spatial and historical data. Sensor data that previously measured one thing, for one purpose or organisation, can be re-used and shared for the benefit of everyone.

This allows sophisticated modelling and data analysis in real-time. Sense-T will provide web services and publish Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so people can access the data to develop apps. New ideas can then be tested using Sense-T and scaled cost-effectively elsewhere.

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