Air Pollution Visualized Thanks to This Real-Time Map


Air pollution is everywhere… This we know. But some wonderful (very creative) French innovators have created a map that can now identify just how bad pollution in some cities is on any given day.

Sometimes big events can influence big change and thankfully, it looks like the Paris Climate Talks are inspiring climate action all over the world. In response to the talks, Plume Labs, a startup company, unveiled the Plume Air Report, a world air map that is able to estimate the “hourly air pollution levels in over 200 metropolitan areas around the world using half a million pieces of data from 11,000 measurement stations,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The company decided to debut its work at the Climate Summit to make an impact and show a “more global picture of air pollution levels,” Venture Beat reports.

The map is easy to decipher — light circles indicate that pollution levels are low while dark circles represent the areas that have the worst pollution. While the map doesn’t show all the cities in the world quite yet, the map’s creators are dedicated to do so. (If you can’t find your city on the map, all you need to do is scroll to the bottom of the page, click the link in the yellow box, and put in your region’s information.)

Romain Lacombe, the French company‘s founder, says that the startup’s goal is to “make information available to people in a way that helps them make decisions every day to protect their health,” Venture Beat reports. Lacombe also hopes that the map will help people visualize how air pollution impacts different countries around the world. (Hello, China!) He also hopes the map will add a “sense of urgency surrounding the negotiations to reduce emissions.” (We hope so, too.)

If you’re interested in getting the app for yourself, find it at the App Store.

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Air pollution image via Shutterstock

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.