Air Quality Map

Air Quality Map

Organisation: Hindustan Times (India)

Publication Date: 04/10/2017

Size of team/newsroom:large


In an effort to monitor air-quality in the national capital and other cities in India, Hindustan Times created a real-time air pollution map. It is the single largest source of air quality data in India, with 120 stations and 32 cities. Indian cities are struggling with a pollution crisis. Delhi, in particular, has consistently recorded the highest levels of air pollution worldwide. To understand the complexity of the problem, we have fed data from government sensors and other reliable sources into a centralized, accessible map. With our representation of the data, you have easy access to the status of air quality across the country. We hope this becomes a resource for our audience to track pollution levels in their respective cities and neighbourhoods. The data may also aid reporters and researchers in identifying pollution trends.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This is the only platform that makes Indian air quality data accessible to a general, non-academic audience, with a mobile-friendly design (around 70 percent of our users access the app on mobile devices). In addition to our audience, it has become a tool for our reporters amidst the urban air quality debate in India, even finding mention in our print reportage. This was a singularly useful tool, enabling our reporters to immediately access hard data to hold public officials accountable for their sometimes overly optimistic statements regarding pollution. We built an automated Twitter bot that sends an alert through our local Twitter handles, such HT Punjab and HT Noida, when the air quality index crosses a certain threshold. This lets our readers learn of dangerous pollution in their area in real time. We have signed a commercial deal with Xiaomi, which now uses our API to deliver the pollution data to all of their mobile phone users in India. We are also in discussions with air purifier and other smart phone manufacturers, including Samsung, to integrate our API with their products.

Technologies used for this project:

Javascript, Python, Node.js, Google Maps API, MongoDB
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