CurieuzeNeuzen: citizens are researching the effects of heat in their own gardens

Just last week, CurieuzeNeuzen launched one of the biggest citizen-driven research projects in Flanders: CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin. For this project, 5,000 Flemish citizens have implemented a soil sensor in their garden, connected to the Orange IoT network, to measure the effects of heat and drought.

This is the first time that an IoT network of more than 5,000 sensors has been rolled out for the purpose of climate research!

To present all that sensor data in a visual & interactive way, CurieuzeNeuzen collaborated with Cumul.io to share the statistics of each individual garden with their participants. As a result, they can more easily follow up the effects of the changing weather on their garden.

Why a mass-citizen study on heat and drought?

Heatwaves are becoming more and more common in Belgium. These longer periods of heat and drought also have an effect on our environment. Not only do we see more arid spots in our own backyard, but also farmers are seeing direct effects on their harvest.

Because of that, CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin started a research project that studies how we can better cope with the effects of increasingly hot and dry summers. Their study ambitiously looks for an answer to environmental questions such as:

  • How do we better prepare our gardens against drought? And not just our gardens, but also parks, nature reserves and crop fields?
  • How to ensure that your garden remains a cool and refreshing place during a heatwave?

In order to answer these questions, CurieuzeNeuzen appointed 5,000 citizen scientists to install a measuring point in their garden. The installed sensors are connected to the Orange narrowband 4G IoT network, which is a smart and energy-friendly measuring network. In that way, they are able to map heat and drought all across Flanders, in very high detail.

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A creatively decorated measuring point of one of the participants!

Personal statistics via Cumul.io

CurieuzeNeuzen opened up a personalized dashboard for every single one of the 5,000 participants, using Cumul.io to power the dashboards.

Every participant has access to a personalized online dashboard showing insights into:

  • Highest and lowest measured soil temperature
  • The evolution of soil, surface and air temperatures over time, and how they vary
  • Soil humidity
  • How their garden’s temperature level compares to other participants

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Example of a personalized garden dashboard

Temperatures & humidity are captured in each garden device every 15 minutes, and are sent through the Orange IoT network to update the online dashboard once every 24 hours.

Some first reactions of participants

Many of the participants are proudly showing off the first statistics of their garden on social media. Have a look at some of our favorites!









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