Helsinki region air quality data now as open data

News 07.01.2019

Helsinki area air quality data is now available as open data. It can be downloaded from Finnish Meteorological Institute's website. Accurate air quality data can be used to create services for citizens to reduce the exposition to air pollution.

The Smart & Clean -project fosters a unique cooperation of world’s leading experts to build a base to export the solutions to the cities with severe air quality issues.

The opened data consist of air quality data with 12-meter accuracy for the last hour. 12 hours forecast and history is also available. Data is available in the commonly used netCDF form.

– As the data is now open, we wish it would be used widely. It can be used to develop solutions that enable people to choose cleaner bike routes or reduce street dust during spring. Air quality influences, for example, health, comfort of living, street cleaning and choosing excursive routes., Eetu Helminen from Smart & Clean Foundation says.

Over 15 new and mid-size sensors have been installed in the Helsinki Air Quality Test Bed project in the Helsinki region. This enables the Meteorological institutes ENFUSER model to define the air quality in the region with 12-meter accuracy.

– We hope the new system is one of many around the world. This means that the solutions developed with the data in Helsinki would be compatible in the cities around the world with far bigger air quality problems than we have in Finland, Helminen looks to the future.

The first application done on the spatially more accurate air quality data is the air quality map on Helsinki regional environmental services authority’s website. From it is possible, for example, to look the air quality on your street and how it’s changing in the next hours.

The network consisting of Vaisala ja Pegasor sensors enables the collection of more data from new sites around the city with reasonable investment. Finnish Meteorological Institutes ENFUSER modeling tool creates forecast of the data the enables the solution to avoid air pollution. The model uses weather data, topographic maps, building data and emission sources to supplement air quality data.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean solutions project partners are the sensor providers Vaisala and Pegasor, Helsinki Environmental Services Authority HSY who is responsible for air quality monitoring in the region as well as the Finnish Meteorological Institute who is the project lead and responsible for the modeling and national air quality data as well as Helsinki University who tests the measurement results of the new sensor network. The air quality project is a great example of how the Helsinki region Smart & Clean -model brings together cities, scholars and businesses. Together they create something greater than they could have achieved on their own.