Data Acquisition

A Nationwide Map of Air Pollution in the U.K.

04 December 2017

The map shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the UK and within towns and cities. Source: EarthSense SystemsThe map shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the UK and within towns and cities. Source: EarthSense Systems

EarthSense Systems — a joint venture between the University of Leicester and aerial mapping company BlueSky — has published MappAir, the first high-resolution nationwide map of air pollution in the U.K.

The researchers combined satellite data, their own air quality monitoring observations and open source data. Complex modeling techniques were applied to develop the highly accurate map, which depicts how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the country and within towns and cities, highlighting likely sources and potential clean-air refuge areas.

The British National Grid was used to divide the UK into 100 m squares and an annual average for each cell was prepared. With the availability of additional sensors and historical data, a wider range of MappAir products will be developed, including an ultra-high resolution 1 m dataset for detailed study areas, a 10 m map for urban areas, a historic time series of maps showing how air pollution changes over the course of a day and on different days and forecast maps giving an indication of fluctuations up to three days ahead.

The MappAir data is available to view and purchase online.

To contact the author of this article, email sue.himmelstein@ieeeglobalspec.com


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