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CITI-SENSE Citizen Observatory for Air Quality – Collected Data and Reusable Software and Tools

Alena Bartonova, Hai-Ying Liu, Mirjam Fredriksen, Arne J. BERRE and CITI-SENSE consortium

(Submission #445)


CITI-SENSE (EU FP7 R&D contract nr. 308524, 2012-2016) has created citizens’ observatories infrastructure for public sharing of information on air quality, and implemented this in eight cities across Europe. Data were collected using portable sensor platforms from Ateknea, static sensor platforms AQMesh from Environmental Instruments, using a publicly available CityAir app, and through several questionnaires implemented online. Prior to data collection, the sensor platforms were tested both in laboratory and in the field, and changes were made that improved all the platform performance. The air quality data were made available through a dedicated visualisation portal, where each of the participating cities could see the current status of measurements, including a simple air quality map created using statistical techniques on the basis of own collected and additional statistical data from each city. The main data collection campaign took approximately three months, simultaneously providing data from more than 200 static sensor devices each 15 minutes, 60 portable devices each minute, questionnaire data from more than 3000 subjects and contributions through the CityAir app downloaded and used at least once by more than 1000 subjects globally. The project has created a number of reusable tools and components, as part of an open source Citizen Observatory Toolbox, all referred to from These include mobile and static sensor platforms, a collection of apps, a survey/questionnaire app and portal, the CITI-SENSE Spatial Environmental Data Service (SEDS) with a WFS service for managing observations and measurements, a data representation in form of linked data/RDF, a data fusion processing service, and a set of reusable HTML5 widgets for visualisation for web portals and apps. Privacy issues were addressed based on requirements in each participating country. Data aggregation routines were defined based on the user requirements. The resulting data and services were then provided to GEOSS. Interpretation of the measurements or monitoring results is also specific, as the sensor technologies provide data with very different characteristics than the compliance monitoring networks that are implemented in all major cities: as air quality is tightly legislated, the value of such measurements and their interpretation need to be carefully considered. Our experience is that the technological challenges, while many, can successfully be addressed, but identifying the value of the new information for the end user is a more challenging task.


Topic Area:  [2.7] Citizen science/crowd sourcing
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Citizens observatories, air quality, SEDS

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