"Citizen Observatories" on Vimeo

CityAir: the mobile application to know the citizen air quality perception

CityAir is an application created by the CITI-SENSE team for citizens to help us to color the air pollution.

Air pollution is invisible but affects the health of people. With this application you can help to colour the air pollution by rating the air quality where you are: green if air quality is very good, yellow if air quality is good, orange is air quality is poor and red if air quality is very poor. You can also indicate the source of the pollution (i.e. traffic, wood burning, industry, etc.) and write a comment.

Their contributions help create a citizens air quality map. Other users will be able to see your air quality rates and comments in real-time. Some people are very sensitive to air pollution and your information can help them to avoid polluted areas.

The app is available for Android and IOS:           

                                                                                     

CITI-SENSE Barcelona collaborates with iSPEX project

iSPEX is a scientific project that aims to measure the atmospheric aerosols. Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration (SPEX), ISPEX has been created and manufactured by the University of Leiden.

Aerosols are having a huge impact on our lives, without us being aware. These small particles, that  affect our health, are the major cause of that aircraft cannot take off when volcanic ash (so far invisible)is in the atmosphere, or even make the great unknown in our knowledge about climate change. Although we know a lot about them, there is much more to learn from aerosols and their effects on the environment.

Therefore, the objective of the ISPEX project is to measure the density of fine powder or dust particles, the size distribution, and a rough indication of the chemical composition of the particles based on the determination of the complex refractive index. The last values are important for health studies concerning fine particles. The results of the measurements ISPEX not provide measures that can be applied by official or legal regulations.

Keep in mind that ISPEX only works properly with a blue, cloudless sky. ISPEX is space technology compressed into a device attached to a smartphone, this seeks to obtain data from satellites where other scientific instruments have little or zero scope. By simply adding the add-on to an iPhone, you can use this device as a scientific instrument everyday in order to measure the amount and type of these small particles suspended in the air.

As part of the project LIGHT 2015, this initiative is being coordinated by the ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences, with the participation and collaboration of BCNLab (through the Office of Citizen Science) and CREAL - Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology. These institutions help to promote the event and participate and co-coordinate some of the observation points in taking scientific data.
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First step on the sensors deployment

On the eve of Halloween (Thursday 30th October), Tania Martínez and Tom Cole-Hunter of the CITI-SENSE Barcelona empowerment initiative (of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology @ISGLOBALorg) installed a 1st-generation Geotech AQMesh pod on the 1st -floor balcony of the MADE Makerspace Barcelona, co-founded by James Brazil (@uAbureau).

This installed pod is now collecting data on air quality (including CO, NO, NO2 & O3) and weather at this address on the street of Consell de Cent. The collected data will be used to empower an interactive mural installation produced in collaboration between the artist Max Rippon and a multi-disciplinary team from uAbureau, in which real-time air quality data is fed into an augmented reality visualisation service via the smartphone application of Metaio. 

Other services to be produced by the CITI-SENSE project include a city-wide air quality map for use when planning your daily activities such as commuting and exercising. For this city-wide map more pod hosts are needed! The 2nd-generation pod, which you could host, will include particle and noise pollution sensors, with a large-scale deployment beginning at the start of the new year. Contact citisense@creal.cat to volunteer your home, work or other address of yours to host an air quality pod. Visit www.barcelona.citi-sense.eu , or follow the project via Twitter @CitObsBCN and Facebook Barcelona Citizens’ Observatory, to learn more. 

Barcelona: lights, bicycles, camera, action!

As showcased in the film, citizens (being the elements of the Citizen Observatories (CO)) will not only be helping to collect data, but also they will receive a beneficial product or service resulting from the collected data. An example of such a product or service proposed, coming from the CITI-SENSE project, is a real-time urban air pollution map that could indicate alternative travel routes for active commuters. A tool of this nature may help cyclists or joggers to avoid heavily-polluted zones while performing physical activity for utility or exercise, similar to the way that existing online maps may help commuters to choose the most direct route – another choice would be the most clean/green route. As well as shots of beautiful Barcelona being traversed with COs, the sensor technology development and testing behind the COs was showcased in the CRIC (now Ateknea) laboratories also in Barcelona.

The other two projects included in the video alongside CITI-SENSE were Omniscientis (of CO rural odour monitoring in Belgium) and Citclops (of CO marine water monitoring in Ireland). The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation will officially premiere the “Citizen Observatories” video during the GEO Ministerial Summit that will take place mid-January 2014.

The full video is available to stream in HD on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/81406033

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 308524.