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With the advent of miniaturized sensing technology, it has become possible to envision smart structures containing millions of sensors embedded in concrete for autonomously detecting and locating incipient damage. Where are we today in our march towards this vision of autonomous structural health monitoring (SHM) using networked embedded sensing? In this paper, we summarize some of the systems we have developed towards this vision. Wisden is a wireless sensor network that allows continuous monitoring of structures and NetSHM is a programmable system that allows civil engineers to implement and deploy SHM techniques without having to understand the intricacies of wireless sensor networking. We highlight our experiences in developing these systems, and discuss the implications of our experiences on the achievability of the overall vision.