EarthSense Partnership Maps City Clean Air Cycle Routes

Posted by ap507 at Oct 20, 2017 11:40 AM |
New project by joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester

Issued by EarthSense Systems

A project combining Ordnance Survey (OS) geospatial data with real-time air quality data from EarthSense Systems is set to highlight clean cycle routes in Britain’s cities.

Using a network of fixed and static air pollution sensors, EarthSense is producing city-wide visualisations of air quality. Combined with OS’s open dataset of greenspaces, the EarthSense air quality models highlight areas of higher air pollution, often along busy roads, and allow users to identify cleaner air routes, such as through parks or along canal paths.

“By making it easy for cyclists to see pollution levels before they make their journey, we can help them make better decisions about their route,” commented Professor Roland Leigh, Technical Director of EarthSense.

“This maximises the gain they are getting from the exercise whilst minimising their exposure to harmful pollution.”

Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organisation, with 80 percent of the world’s population living in cities that exceed its standards for pollution. Air pollution in the UK has been described as a ‘public health emergency’ and levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted mostly by diesel vehicles, have been above legal limits in almost 90% of urban areas since 2010.

A recent survey has shown that, in the last few years, the number of people who cycle at least once a week has increased by more than 100,000, with more than two million adults regularly cycling.

Cycling to work has been promoted as a way to beat train fare rises, while the 2016 Central Statistics Office Commuting in Ireland report showed an increase of 43 percent of people using their bikes to get to work. Using data from a city wide network of sensors, including the EarthSense state-of-the-art Zephyr sensor, EarthSense captures real time air quality measurements.

Combined with other inputs, including satellite observations, weather conditions and traffic emission data in its MappAir modelling solution, EarthSense can deliver data for forecasting, master planning and identifying cleaner cycle routes. The data is available hourly, with a forecast up to three days, and historically, with resolutions ranging from 1m for detailed study areas to 10m for full city maps, and 100m for the national picture. The OS Open Greenspace product, used to communicate the EarthSense modelled air quality levels, accurately depicts the location and extent of recreational and leisure facilities.

Features included in the data are parks, play spaces, golf courses, allotments and more. The comprehensive national dataset is designed to help communities and businesses create solutions that encourage healthier and greener lifestyles. In addition, the greenspace information can be viewed through the popular OS Maps app to help people to discover greenspaces in their local area.

Phillip Wyndham, Strategic Development Manager at the Ordnance Survey, added, “EarthSense delivers a powerful data visualisation of air pollution levels within a city.  The data provides clear information to the public, allowing them to make decisions on the best, and cleanest, walking and cycling routes to take. At OS, we are actively encouraging everyone to get outside, and this is another great tool to enable people to discover the greenspaces in our towns and cities.

“The insights gained from such modelling can also be used by policy makers and city planners to make practical interventions around mitigating hot spots – such as traffic light phasing, coordination of streetworks or correctly maintained urban trees and hedges which can trap many harmful pollutants. Data visualisation with a geospatial backdrop is a powerful way to analyse and display data from other third-party sources, and this is exactly the type of innovation which OS OpenData is designed to support.”

EarthSense Systems is a joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester.

CONTACTS: Reader enquiries to EarthSense on tel +44 (0)1530 518555 or info@earthsense.co.uk Website: www.earthsense.co.uk Editorial enquiries, contact Robert Peel on tel +44 (0)1666 823306
Notes to editors:

EarthSense Systems aims to deliver products that enable the world to visualise and solve its air quality issues. A joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester, EarthSense enables policy makers, planners and those responsible for delivering results to access real world information in order to support decision making.

With a mix of hardware (air quality sensors), software (bespoke modelling), data (derived and complementary) and people, EarthSense is uniquely poised to take a lead in air quality monitoring solutions and services, making a difference to people’s lives and delivering high value information to a range of consumers and decision makers. EarthSense has already undertaken a range of air quality monitoring projects, including trials of an airborne air quality mapper, air pollution monitoring equipment on a rocket, and mobile mapping with air quality sensors mounted in electric cars.

Future plans include the establishment of a nationwide network of air quality monitoring sensors, feeding live data for up to the minute air quality predictions. www.earthsense.co.uk

EarthSense Systems is a joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester. Bluesky is a specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including two UltraCam Eagles and a Teledyne Optech Galaxy LiDAR system integrated with a PhaseOne camera and thermal sensor. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going three-year update programme. The integrated Galaxy LiDAR system, which includes thermal and aerial photography cameras, places Bluesky at the forefront of this technology and in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and extremely cost effective solutions. Bluesky is leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications, including the UK’s first National Tree Map™ (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products. www.bluesky-world.com

The University of Leicester is a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality inspirational teaching. Leicester is among the most socially inclusive of Britain's top 20 leading universities. The University of Leicester is The Times/Sunday Times 2014 University of the Year Runner-Up and the THE University of the Year 2008-9. Leicester is a three-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, and is the only University to win seven consecutive awards from the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine.

Leicester is ranked 14th out of 121 institutions by The Times/Sunday Times and the University is ranked among the top two percent in the world by the QS World University Rankings, Taiwan World University Rankings and THE World University Rankings. https://le.ac.uk/about-us/facts-and-figures Britain’s mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, makes the most up-to-date and accurate digital and paper maps of the country. Each day OS makes over 10,000 changes to its database of more than 500 million geographic features. Since 1791 OS content has been used to help governments, companies and individuals work more effectively both here and around the world. The information OS gathers helps keep the nation, economy and infrastructure moving. www.os.uk

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