The technical testing of the sensors has completed and we are grateful to various technical volunteers who have carried the sensors and given us feedback. This project has moved into engaging with the final user group who were always the focus. The aim is to engage with people who might benefit most from this technology and we were very lucky to find the Breathe Easy Liverpool North group, who are a great bunch of people and have been very welcoming to our efforts. We are very grateful.
We first presented to this group on 18 November 2016 to explain the objectives of the project. The group doesn’t meet during the middle of Winter and so we arranged to come back to them in February when their meetings started up again. By February we would have finished our technical testing as per the plan and we would have sensors for them to use if they were willing.
One Friday 3 February 2017 we presented to the Breathe Easy North Liverpool group again and we were grateful that there were two volunteers willing to take 2 sensors: one AirBeam to measure particulate matter and one Air Quality Egg to measure NO2.
We had some technical problems with the AirBeam which meant we didn’t get any data in the first 2 weeks, but early tests on the data captured by the Air Quality Egg looked positive. The mapping of two trips are shown below to illustrate what this sort of technology can do.
The map below shows the data from the Air Quality Egg (Tweedledee) for 20 February 2017. We won’t name the volunteer who captured this data for data protection and privacy reasons, however we are grateful to their efforts.
This data can also be looked at as a time-series and this is shown below. The readings start at approximately 14:00 and finish approximately 15:00 on 20 February 2017.
The goal of this project is to share these findings with the group to get their feedback and see if this tallies with personal experiences and local knowledge. Do the sensor readings agree with personal views on areas of poor air quality? etc.
The second mapping is shown below for 22 February 2017 with the same sensor. This shows similar routes but also some new areas of the city explored. This mapping does show more red readings than the previous mapping. Also, Breck Road is green and has good air quality readings for both trips. Chavasse Park is green, as might be expected for a pedestrianised area – giving some more confidence in the sensor readings. Again, this will be explored further with the group to see if this matches with personal experiences.
As above this data can also be shown as a time-series as below. This shows the readings taken between approximately 13:30 and finish approximately 18:00.
We will analyse more data and share that shortly. More to come.
Note: all the data here should be treated with caution. These are spot measures with low-cost sensors and so they should not be used as a basis for assessing air quality across a longer duration or a wider area.