“a search engine for the Internet of Things, providing a unique geographical index of connected objects around the world, including energy, radiation, weather, and air quality devices as well as seismographs, iBeacons, ships, aircraft and even animal trackers. Thingful’s powerful search capabilities enable people to find devices, datasets and realtime data sources by geolocation across many popular Internet of Things networks, and presents them using a proprietary patent-pending geospatial device data search ranking methodology, ThingRank®.”
This certainly sounds like a useful service which could do to the IoT what Google did for the web. However, a quick look at what “things” were transmitting data near me has made me wonder about how much we should rely on this data. Within a mile or so from my house I found half a dozen private weather stations (the blue circles) transmitting their data through Thingful (the link circles are Raspberry Pi devices which don’t seem to be doing anything). However, the range of temperatures ( in Fahrenheit) they are showing are 33.3, 41.4, 45, 50.9, 51.6 and 69.5. Clearly, they cannot all be correct. It’s impossible to know if this is because some are in direct sun, others in shade etc. or because the sensors themselves are not working correctly. Whatever the reason, it highlights the need for care when relying on crowd-sourced data. Hopefully, Thingful’s ThingRank will be as effective as Google’s PageRank was in presenting the most relevant results from a search query. However, 17 years after its launch, Google is still having to regularly update its algorithm to filter out low-quality URLs – something Thingful may wish to ponder.