Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Worldwide Air Pollution Mapped
The Plume Report has released what they are calling 'the first worldwide air map'. This will obviously come as a bit of a surprise to the World Air Quality Index, whose own real-time air pollution map has been around for a few years now.
The Plume Report Map is also a live real-time map of air pollution around the world. The claim that this is the first worldwide map rests on Plume's ability to map predicted air pollution even in countries which don't operate air quality monitoring networks The Plume Report say that they use 'artificial intelligence and machine learning' to predict air quality in areas without air quality monitors. Unfortunately the Plume Report don't seem to have published much information about how they achieve this except to say that their 'models ... anticipate long-distance transport of air pollutants'.
The map itself uses colored hexagon markers to show the current air pollution in cities around the world. The map also includes an overlay showing worldwide background pollution. You can click on the hexagon map makers to read more details about the current air quality in the selected city.
The World Air Quality Index is a real-time map of air pollution readings of actual air monitoring stations around the world. The markers representing these monitoring stations are color coded on the map to reflect the status of the latest readings. If you mouse-over a maker you can also view the time of the displayed air quality reading.