Epimetheus is a proof of concept prototype for a network of wildfire detectors designed to be deployed by active citizens. Utilizing cheap and available technology, the prototype detects UV emissions specific to forest fires, and updates a publicly viewable layer on Google Earth in real time.
The communications framework was designed around an open architecture both technically and socially. Open on a technical level translates to allowing independently built nodes to begin transmitting data without asking for explicit network permission. Socially it means that all transmitted data is equally available to all interested parties: the individual node maker, commmunity vigilance teams, even local government leadership.
Epimetheus was developed around a single driving thesis: that the act of localized deployment and open monitoring of a site can create a long-lasting effect that transcends a single forest fire: Empowered civilians with a real sense of custody over a specific site.

The Epimetheus prototype came out of the 2008 Physical Computing studio class at ITP. Many thanks to Tom Igoe, Eric Rosenthal, and Rob Faludi.

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