hackAIR in brief
  • This month, we’re inviting you to explore the air quality in your neighbourhood!
  • Further below, we’re presenting two of hackAIR’s hidden features: data fusion and image collection and analysis.
  • We also have news from hackAIR on the road: May and June have been amazing months, presenting hackAIR across Europe and organising workshops for sensor-building.
Your mission this month: Understand air quality in your neighbourhood

You have sent us many questions about air quality in your neighbourhood. Here are some of our responses and suggestions for you!

Where is the nearest official air quality monitoring station?
You can find information on several websites:

  • The European Environment Agency's European Air Quality Index displays up-to-the-minute data for the whole of Europe. This allows you to understand more about the air quality where you live.
  • OpenAQ is the platform that we use for the hackAIR map. OpenAQ uses open data, open-source tools, and a global, grassroots community. The OpenAQ community has collected 217 million air quality measurements from 8,460 locations in 65 countries. Data are aggregated from 105 government-level and research-grade sources, including the EEA data above.
  • If you are interested in specific information about your country of residence, have a look at this list of European platforms.
Where can I find maps of citizen-operated air quality sensors in my neighbourhood?
There are several maps on which you can explore where low-cost sensors are located: hackAIR, and local initiatives. The hackAIR platform combines most of these data sources.

How does air quality change over time?
Once you’ve identified the station(s) you are interested in, you can observe how air quality changes over time. We’ve described how to plot a time series of hackAIR sensor data. For Germany, you can find great visualisations of official air quality measurements at

How do I know whether the air is good or bad in my area?
If you want to compare the measurements to the official limit values for air pollution, you’ll need to look at the daily average of your measurements. Generally, daily averages above 50 µg/m³ for PM10 or 25 µg/m³ for PM2.5 can be a cause for concern.
hackAIR’s hidden features

Did you know…

  • that hackAIR calculates air pollution estimates for locations without measurements to create a continuous map in Germany and Norway?
  • that it’s possible to estimate air quality using just a picture of the blue sky?
  • that hackAIR uses machine learning algorithms to collect suitable images and can estimate the location where a sky photo was taken?
Read more about hackAIR’s hidden features (data fusion and image collection & analysis) in this blog post.
hackAIR activities across Europe
It is more fun to build a better map of air quality with a group of other interested people. That’s why we have been traveling across Europe to participate in activities on air quality and citizen science. Some impressions from our recent workshops:
14 June, Munich, Germany: Great interest for the hackAIR workshop “Build your own sensor”. It was organised by the local BUND office and moderated by hackAIR team Arne Fellermann & Lisa Bieker (BUND). Citizens of all generations are working together to monitor air quality. 
14 June, Bergen, Norway: hackAIR pilot partner NILU organised a workshop together with Friskby Bergen. Participants included scientists, policymakers, teachers and pupils. Awesome that there are now a number of hackAIR sensors monitoring air quality in Bergen!
13 June, Brussels, Belgium: The largest workshop so far: 100 citizens (!!!) came together in Brussels to build their own air quality sensor. This workshop was co-organised with local partners: Influencair, Open Knowledge Belgium, Civic Labs Brussels, Sandbox VRT. Sensors are up and running now across Brussels. 
4 June, Geneva, Switzerland: Christodoulous Keratidis (DRAXIS), Hai-Ying Liu (NILU), Wiebke Herding (ON:SUBJECT) at the market space on air quality during the European Citizen Science Association Conference in Geneva.
25 May, Brussels, Belgium: hackAIR participated in the EU Green Week partner event in Brussels on “Involving citizens in air quality monitoring through Citizen Science initiatives”. Panagiota Syropoulou (DRAXIS) presented the work of the hackAIR consortium: website, app, platform and sensors.
16 May, Frankfurt, Germany: The regional office of BUND organised a sensor-building workshop, led by Arne Fellermann (BUND). The workshop provided an introduction about air quality monitoring and a presentation of hackAIR’s features. Potential applications were also discussed. All participants engaged in a conversation about their diverse motivations to use hackAIR.
hackAIR: we want to hear your ideas and suggestions

In the last month, we’ve made improvements to the way hackAIR displays the measurements of sensors. Our developers also made sure that the platform is easier to use - new pop-up tags for platform icons have been added.

Your suggestions and ideas are really helpful - keep them coming. What is working well? Which features would you like to see in upcoming releases?

Ask us questions! Find us on social media.
And do contact us straight away if you find a bug or can’t get your sensor to work - we’re happy to help.

News & events: stay informed
Do you want to know more about activities of the hackAIR project? Do you want to receive latest news on air quality and citizen science? Are you interested in a workshop to build your own air quality sensor? 
Follow hackAIR on social media:
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hackAIR is a collaboration of six European organisations working on air pollution, environment, technology, citizen science and research.
The Democritus University of Thrace, Crevis Sprl and the Technological Educational Institute of Athens contribute as third parties affiliated to Draxis Environmental S.A.

This project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 688363. This publication reflects only the author's view and the Research Executive Agency or European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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