Knock Knock

We have a pretty sweet access control system at the space. Former President Royce Pipkins put it together for us and it controls all the exterior doors at the space. One problem we have with it right now is that we have to log into a linux machine and tail the log to see interesting info about how many makers are badging in and when.

Well, we used to have that problem, anyway.

I spent some time today with the lovely (if a bit limited) Cosm api. You may know Cosm by its former name, Pachube. I wrote a simple python script to parse out interesting, anonymous data from our access server logs and send it up to Cosm as a new feed, called Milwaukee Makerspace Access Control System with four data streams:

  • Number of Unique Makers Accessing the space in a day
  • Number of Unique Makers Accessing the space in an hour
  • Total number of badge-ins per day
  • Number of Access Denied messages per day

Cosm made it easy to graph the data and to send up new data points, but is limited to a gauge-style timeseries.  I can’t submit raw data events and use Cosm to aggregate them up by date or hour, so i had to do that in my local python code.  Their REST API is very simple, clean and well documented, though, which makes up for the limitations a bit.  They provide a graph-builder, but i didn’t like the way the graphs looked so i pulled the JSON data in and used the Google Chart Tools to produce some pretty graphs like this one:

Access Control System Stats

Screenshot of the Access Control System Stats.

The stats are updated from our access control system every hour and are publicly available at

We’re looking at doing some more fun stuff with the logs from the access control system at the space, like displaying the names of the members who have most recently badged in, making sounds when someone badges in or a key is denied.  I’m sure whatever we come up with will be noisy and large.