AirVisual, a crowd-sourced social enterprise, recently launched a visually stunning new way to see the seriousness of Earth's air pollution. Such data has been used in scientific and industrial capacities in the past, but this is the first map that allows any user to view and track pollution in real time.
The interactive 3-D global map AirVisual Earth shows the synergy of ambient particulate matters (PM2.5) levels and weather patterns. The interface allows viewers to spin the globe, zoom in and out, and toggle between combined PM2.5 and weather data or just wind patterns alone, and track Air Quality Index (AQI) levels across the planet via vivid color-coded heat mapping. PM2.5 refers to particles finer than 2.5 micrometers, which are so small they can travel through the lungs into the bloodstream, contributing to a variety of diseases.
"AirVisual Earth was developed to allow people to meaningfully relate to the air pollution problem" says Kelsey Duska, AirVisual project lead. "In visualizing pollution concentrations, we aim to clearly show the effect that our everyday emissions are having on the planet's health, as well as our own."
The map is generated from satellite imagery and data reported by over 10,000 monitoring stations, including government stations and crowdsourced data from AirVisual's personal PM2.5 air quality monitors.