Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures

A. Overeem, J.C.R. Robinson, H. Leijnse, G.J. Steeneveld, B.K.P. Horn, R. Uijlenhoet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


[1] Accurate air temperature observations in urban areas are important for meteorology and energy demand planning. They are indispensable to study the urban heat island effect and the adverse effects of high temperatures on human health. However, the availability of temperature observations in cities is often limited. Here we show that relatively accurate air temperature information for the urban canopy layer can be obtained from an alternative, nowadays omnipresent source: smartphones. In this study, battery temperatures were collected by an Android application for smartphones. A straightforward heat transfer model is employed to estimate daily mean air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures for eight major cities around the world. The results demonstrate the enormous potential of this crowdsourcing application for real-time temperature monitoring in densely populated areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4081-4085
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • 9 french cities
  • communication-networks
  • mortality
  • climate

Cite this