[HOT] (slightly off-topic) An intro to OpenAQ

Joe Flasher flasher at openaq.org
Tue Dec 27 23:27:29 UTC 2016

Hi all, sorry in advance for the slightly off-topic email to the list, but hopefully it’ll be of interest to some of you.

For a bit over a year now, a community of us have been working on OpenAQ (https://openaq.org), focused on aggregating global air quality data and making it available to anyone, easily accessible and free. We also hold workshops around the world to help connect various disciplines in an effort to help solve air quality issues locally. The dataset is about 34 million measurements from 42 countries (growing about 130K a day), all standardized to the same format. This data isn’t available anywhere else like this and for some places (mostly developing countries), not available historically at all. 

What’s the tie to HOT and OSM? We use OSM as our basemap (via Mapbox) but really, it’s a dataset that’d be very powerful when combined with OSM data. I’ve got a few personal projects on the backlog like automatically classifying the location of all the air quality monitors based on OSM data (urban, rural, industrial, etc); and taking a look at what the air quality levels are like globally around sensitive structures like kindergartens, grade schools or hospitals. Overall, poor air quality is responsible for 1 out of 8 deaths worldwide and ~90% of that is in developing countries, bad all around.

And now the request you probably thought was coming. :)

OpenAQ is a finalist in the Open Science Prize, a very important grant we are competing in with 5 other orgs that will help us continue our mission of opening up the world's air quality data. We're currently in the public voting phase, where only 3 of the 6 remaining teams will advance to the next round, depending on the vote. We're at the half-way point, and the race is very, very close -  less than 20 votes separate the 3 teams who will advance with the 3 teams that will not. 

As the name implies, it’s a competition for projects focused on opening up science-related data. If this interests you, please take a moment and check out OpenAQ and the other finalists and vote: http://event.capconcorp.com/wp/osp/vote-now/

Thanks again and sorry for being a bit off-topic, hopefully it’s interesting at least. If anyone is interested in learning more about the data, let me know!

Joe Flasher

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