In Peru, the government is currently running a program that we might call the Internet of Garbage Vultures (IoGB), fitting GPS-enabled mobile GoPro cameras to vultures, so that these scavenging birds can be used in the fight to identify and eradicate illegal dumping of waste.

According to a report on ABC News Australia, “Ten trained vultures wearing purpose-designed vests have already started to monitor the city from above with the help of tracking technology as part of the Vultures Detect program, and have been carefully trained to return to their keepers.”

This trend is growing. The central north African country of Chad has developed a similar initiative and fitted dogs with IoT sensors to track down diseases and the United Kingdom has begun a program to use pigeons to monitor air pollution.

But you don’t just switch on collective intelligence overnight. Whether data comes from from humans or from IoT initiatives, engineering information streams so that they can be woven into the operational fabric of government is a big challenge.

In a January 2016 Nesta white paper, Governing with Collective Intelligence, authors Tom Saunders and Geoff Mulgan point out that adopting collective intelligence is not always easy. “Many governments resist openness and citizen input of any kind. Sometimes this is out of a sense that governments know best,” they write.”More often, it is because political organizations created many years ago lack the mechanisms to easily request, absorb, analyze and act upon ideas and information offered by citizens, external organizations [and other external sources].”

To overcome these challenges, the public sector needs a clear strategy to make use of the collective intelligence not just of citizens but also sensors, meters, devices – and, indeed, vultures dogs and pigeons.


About Pigeon Patrol:

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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