London Air website: updates and new features

The Centre's Environmental Reaserch Group have just released a collection of new features and updates to the London Air website that will help all our users get even more from the site.

Combined Nowcast

Three years ago London Air made the leap to publishing the Nowcast, a 20 metre resolution pollution map of London updated every hour. This allowed the public, for the first time, to see street by street pollution levels across the whole of the city, filling in the gaps between the monitoring stations.

However, assessing three different pollution maps for nitrogen dioxide, PM10 particulates and ozone each hour still made it difficult to see an overview of pollution levels across the city.

To overcome this, the combined Nowcast merges nitrogen dioxide, PM10 and PM2.5 particulates and ozone levels into one map. The map displays the highest level of any of these pollutants, at any point in London, allowing users to see the influence of nitrogen dioxide at roadside locations and of ozone at outer-London locations.

This breakthrough London-wide hourly pollution map is possible thanks to the monitoring stations in London that provide its input. Every hour we collect the latest pollution levels from the stations and use that data to create the map.

We have also introduced a new regression algorithm to produce a more accurate map each hour, taking into account changing conditions. You can see how many monitoring stations were used to produce the map each hour and how accurate the result is here

The London Air Forecast

The forecasting team at London Air have been producing detailed pollution forecasts for London local authorities for over ten years and we are now publishing these forecasts publicly on our new forecast page.

By analysing pollutant trends across the monitoring station network in London each morning, the team are able to make assessments about how each pollutant will affect the capital today and into tomorrow.

Pollution forecasts are an essential way for the public and sensitive individuals to plan ahead and we will be rolling out these forecasts to our smartphone and Chrome users over the coming weeks.

Updated Annual Maps

The annual maps displayed on the London Air website are the best way for Londoners to understand long-term pollution levels in the capital as well as the areas that are passing or failing the Government’s air quality objectives.

The basemap upon which these maps are based has been updated to the newest 2010 London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

For the first time, we are also publishing an annual PM2.5 particulate map of London. PM2.5 is becoming a pollutant of increasing concern and we hope this new map combined with the others will help Londoners get a comprehensive birds-eye view of annual pollution levels across the capital.

The London Air API

The London Air Quality Network is a unique and valuable resource for the public, scientists, policy makers and health researchers alike.

The London Air database is approaching one billion records with around one million new data points collected each week. This vast archive of pollution measurements, collected form the monitoring stations across London for the last 15 years allows researchers to uncover important linkages between changing pollution and health, and drive policy changes in the capital and beyond.

The increase in the availability of data sets from all corners of society hasfuelled a boom in new applications  which combine data to produce new and innovative services.

To add to this exciting new area we are launching the London Air API, an easy and fully documented way for developers to integrate current and historical air quality data into their applications.

Developers can apply to use the API here.


News Tags: