Volunteers needed for WeCount initiative

WeCount is a ‘citizen science’ project to empower local communities to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence and knowledge relating to mobility in their own neighbourhoods.

WeCount are now seeking Balbriggan volunteers to take part in this exciting project! 

What’s WeCount all about? 

The WeCount project is all about empowering citizens to take part in the collection of important mobility data relating to their communities. WeCount is a European funded project with volunteers taking part in Ireland, Wales, Spain, Belgium and Slovenia.

Smart Balbriggan, the technology and innovation programme of Our Balbriggan, is supporting the WeCount project to find local volunteer participants from our community. 

WeCount volunteer participants are provided with ‘low-cost sensor devices’ which they set up in their homes or businesses to count traffic on the roads outside.

WeCount aims to support: 

  1. Citizens: To empower citizens to use new technology such as sensors to collect data and evidence about their communities. This can enable citizens to shape and influence local policy decisions and initiatives, and also builds community knowledge on issues relating to our local environment. 
  2. Research: To use the traffic data collected to produce scientific knowledge in the field of mobility and environmental pollution. And to work with communities to design potential solutions to tackle road transport challenges.
  3. Local Authorities:  To share the traffic data with Local Authorities (Fingal County Council) to help inform their transport planning and support data-driven decision-making. 

 

What do WeCount volunteers do?

About the Telraam Device

Volunteer participants are provided with low-cost sensor devices called a ‘Telraam device’. These devices are set-up in the windows of their homes or businesses facing the road. A small camera in the device counts the traffic that passes by on the road outside. The camera device is privacy enhanced and does not have any GDPR or privacy implications. Read more about privacy here. https://telraam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360025746472-What-about-privacy- 

How does the device work? 

The Telraam device counts pedestrians, cyclists, cars and freight/heavy vehicles. It does this by processing the images taken by the device camera and analysing them on a ‘Raspberry Pi’ – a small computer on which the device is based. The device counts and categorises vehicles. 

How is the data used? 

The traffic data collected by the device are transmitted wirelessly to a central database where they are further processed. The results of all Telraam are freely available to everyone at www.telraam.net 

How do I sign up?

Volunteer Requirements

  • You must have access to a suitable window that faces the road where traffic passes. This window cannot be obscured, for example, by trees or parked cards. Preferably a first floor window will work best. 
  • Maximum distance from window to road must be less than 15 meters.
  • Your Telraam cannot be too close to the road. ‘Too close’ means that vehicles the size of a van (and larger) do not fit in the field of view of the camera. 
  • You must have your own Wi-Fi connection to which your Telraam device will be connected. This way the traffic data can be forwarded to the database
  • Finally, you also need a power outlet, because your Telraam device needs power.

Volunteer participants will not be reimbursed for any costs associated with their participation, including internet and electricity usage. The device is very low-powered, using the equivalent power of a phone charger and using extremely minimal internet to work. 

 

Register 

If you live in Balbriggan, meet the above requirements and want to get involved please email smart.balbriggan@fingal.ie and we will arrange to post you your equipment. Please note, the equipment is limited and will be distributed on a first come first served basis.  

The device will then be posted to and will include set-up instructions and contract details for the WECount helpline if you have any queries.

Once you have set up your device you must register here in order to fully enable the device and to be able to see the data on the website.  https://telraam.net/en/membership/dublin 

Please note, once your device is set up, it will take a few days before the data transmitted will be available to see here www.telraam.net. It can also take a couple of weeks for the device to ‘learn’ how to accurately categorise the vehicles. 

The project ends in November 2021 after which you can return your device, or you can continue to collect the data which will be used by the WeCount team for their ongoing research work.  

More information: 

WeCount https://we-count.net//about 

Telraam https://telraam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us