Friday, April 29, 2016

Rickshaws & Pigeons - Monitoring Air Pollution

Delhi has one of the worst air pollution records in the world. London has the worst air pollution record in Europe. Both cities however are developing interesting ways to monitor near real-time air pollution.

In Delhi Project Peppered Moth has equipped five auto rickshaws with internet connected air pollution sensors. These sensors measure air pollution every 30 seconds as they navigate around the city. The Project Peppered Moth website includes an interactive map which allows you to explore the readings from any of the rickshaws for any of the days that they have been in action.

The map shows color-coded markers for each reading taken by the sensors. I assume green markers indicate lower readings and red markers show higher readings.

London doesn't have as many auto rickshaws as Delhi but it does have thousands of pigeons. Pigeon Air Patrol has developed tiny backpacks fitted with air pollution sensors. It has also found a number of pigeons who have agreed to wear the backpacks on their daily commute around London.

The Pigeon Air Patrol website also includes an interactive map which presents the pigeons' tracks and the air pollution readings that the pigeons collected for what I assume was a test run. If you click on any of the markers on the you can read a summary of the air pollution level (although they all seem to say 'moderate pollution').

Now all we need is for both cities to put as much imagination into lowering air pollution as they are into monitoring it.
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