Environmental Sensing and “Media” as Practice in the Making

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2018. Environmental Sensing and “Media” as Practice in the Making. In: Jentery Sayers, ed. The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 1138844306 [Book Section]

Gabrys_DHCompanion_2018.pdf - Published Version

Download (114kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

From ubiquitous computing to the Internet of Things, sensors that monitor and automate environmental processes are now proliferating. Along with the increasing prevalence of these devices, a diverse range of practices has arisen. Termed “citizen sensing,” users equipped with low-cost sensing devices and sensor-enabled smart phones are able to monitor environments and collect real-time data. From recording air pollution levels to tracking the migrations of animals, sensing technologies allow citizens to observe environmental processes in increasing detail and communicate environmental observations to fellow citizens and policymakers. As an emerging set of practices and devices, however, citizen sensing also raises multiple questions about how environmental “citizenship” becomes articulated and even delimited as a technological and evidence-based mode of participation. This chapter outlines the key literature, practices, and technologies that have contributed to citizen sensing, and then discusses through the Citizen Sense research project how a practice-based and participatory study has sought to understand and contribute to this emerging area of citizen sensing and the development of digital media technologies.

Item Type:

Book Section


citizen sensing, practice research, sensor technologies, environment

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



19 August 2015Accepted
27 April 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Jan 2017 13:21

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:46



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)