AirNow International Transport App (ANITA)

2014 Challenge

  • Hashtags:

    #earth, #anitaairnow


    [email protected]


    Data Visualization, Imagery, Model

    Challenge Description

    Create an app that shows how large-scale international air quality events relate to daily Air Quality Index (AQI) data. The app could ingest data and information from NASA satellites, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) air mass hysplit trajectories, and chemical transport model outputs. This information could empower citizens to mitigate some of these conditions and make the air cleaner, or air quality managers could use the information to formulate policy measures that take into account daily influences on the Air Quality Index.


    The AQI tells you how clean or polluted your air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The AQI is calculated from for five major air pollutants: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. AirNow has been in operation since 1997 and provides AQI information to several media outlets.

    AirNow has state-of-the-art software for air quality data management and information dissemination. The AirNow system provides real-time AQI observations and forecasts to help inform the public about the quality of the air they breathe. The software, including worldwide mapping and multi-language capability, allows the system to be implemented in cities and regions around the globe. AirNow also provides a robust app that provides daily and forecast AQI for the US.

    AirNow encourages participation in a worldwide community that shares ideas and promotes air quality awareness. AirNow-International (AN-I) helps countries around the world create a more reliable source of real-time air quality information. This allows decision makers to better communicate about air pollution, health, and sustainability goals, and to involve the public in efforts to improve air quality. The AirNow-International Community includes AN-I system users and other people interested in international air quality. The AirNow-I Community is a group of international organizations and agencies that: (1) provides direction, standardization, and scientific understanding for the collection, sharing and dissemination of air quality data and forecasts; and (2) promotes AirNow-I development and growth in a self-sustaining and self-supporting environment. The benefit of this app is that it could help the public understand how local or large scale events relate to unhealthy AQI levels.

    Primary Data and Models

    MODIS and MISR for fires and pollution outbreaks; Models – HYSPLIT for trajectory predictions, GEOS-Chem (Stratospheric intrusions), NRL-NAAPS, SmartFire Secondary Data; and CALIPSO, OMI for vertical resolution and volcanic eruptions.

    Solution Ideas

    Here are some ways for you to frame this solution:

    The app can ingest data from AirNow, NASA satellite data, and other information such as NCAR air mass hysplit trajectories and chemical transport model outputs.

    The app can relate the AQI data to episodic and long range transport events; display the pathway of the pollution from the source to the location of interest; and Document the assumptions and methods for comparing the data.

    Find creative ways to visualize the data.

    Sample Resources

    MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer):

    MISR (Multi-angle Imaging RadioSpectrometer):

    OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument):

    CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations):

    NCAR Hysplit (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model:


    NRL-NAAPS (Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System):


  • The following projects are solving this challenge:

    • AQI Platform

      Problems There are lot of data regarding air quality, not only from North America but around the world too, through different environmental organizations that collect and catalog the information in different ways, so is not readily accessible There is no standard way to use the data from NA... Visit Project

    • Air Quality Index Analyser

      The Air quality Index show us how clean or polluted our air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for us. Our applcation must provide real time air Quality Index observetion and forcecast to help inform, and prevent the population about the quality of the air the breath. ... Visit Project

    • Katawi

      A Mobile App (iOS) that shows from many sources information about AQI (Air Quality Index), Weather and UV radiaton for a specific user's location, and socialize this information using Twitter. Visit Project

    • Catmosphere

      Users are able to make sense of the Air Quality Index by seeing the cat's facial expression. A low number will show the cat happy indicating healthy air quality while a bad number shows the cat on the verge of death and thus polluted air. Visit Project

    • Airospace

      Airospace aims to inform the user of the air quality at the desired location. It uses data from MODIS, OMI etc., and shows a visualization of the data for interpretation. Air Quality Index (AQI) will be used to specify the air quality at different regions, depending on the pollution. Further impr... Visit Project

    • Air Quality Value

      Visualisation mobile app that presents Air Quality Index (AQI) to the user in a simple and spectacular manner. Handcrafted for iOS platform. Visit Project

    • Earthsquare

      ![Earthsquare]( "EarthSquare") Earth Square is the program our team has made participating in 48-hour NASA SpaceApps Challenge. Based on the Unity 3D engine (Unity3D, Objective-C and AirNow API), app shows the 3D map of the Earth. In contras... Visit Project

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