Remote data collection using the Internet

Talk to be given at the American Association of Physics teachers meeting in Anaheim CA, Jan. 9-14, 1999.

Who we are:

Ray Wisman (Computer Science) and Kyle Forinash (Physics) at Indiana University Southeast.

With IUS students: Lori Blankenship (who actually did most of the work), Mike Riley, James Phares

What we are up to:

What kind of results did we get?

To see some of the actual data we collected with comments go to the second results page.

Project Summary:

What could this be good for?

Suppose a large number of computers on the internet had several probes hooked up (for example, radiation, light intensity, magnetic field, etc.) and were left on all the time. An internet user in California might decide to sample the noon solar intensity every day in one county in CA for an entire year by taking data from the computers in that county which are participating. Another user in Italy might study the variation of solar intensity across the US in a 24 hr period. Local and global variations in the earths magnetic field (if any) might be examined over short or long time periods by someone in Canada. Radiation spread from a nuclear test could be monitored world wide and correlated with weather changes. The neat thing is ANYONE who had a list of the locations (IP numbers) of the participating sites could do whatever study they wanted to without bothering the owners of the computers at all, as long as everyone agreed to have the same probes available.

Contact us if you want more information:,

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