Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2016. Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9780816693146 [Book]


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Abstract or Description

Grappling with the consequences of wiring our world, Program Earth examines how sensor technologies are programming our environments. As this study points out, sensors do not merely record information about an environment. Rather, they generate new environments and environmental relations. At the same time, they give a voice to the entities they monitor: to animals, plants, people, and inanimate objects. This book looks at the ways in which sensors converge with environments to map ecological processes, to track the migration of animals, to check pollutants, to facilitate citizen participation, and to program infrastructure. Through discussing particular instances where sensors are deployed for environmental study and citizen engagement across three areas of environmental sensing, from wild sensing to pollution sensing and urban sensing, Program Earth asks how sensor technologies specifically contribute to new environmental conditions. What are the implications for wiring up environments? How do sensor applications not only program environments, but also program the sorts of citizens and collectives we might become?

Program Earth suggests that the sensor-based monitoring of Earth offers the prospect of making new environments not simply as an extension of the human but rather as new “technogeographies” that connect technology, nature, and people.

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environmental sensing, digital technology, citizen sensing

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June 2016

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Date Deposited:

20 Apr 2016 14:58

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 11:06


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