How PurpleAir Data Supports ExactAQ® a Hyper-Local Air Quality Map
Having more air quality data doesn’t always make it more accessible. In fact, it can be the opposite.
When data from different information sources are inconsistent, or is based on measurements that may be far away from the place where information is needed, it can be difficult to know enough to make decisions.
It can also prevent you from seeing blind spots where certain areas or communities lack effective air quality information. This is called data blindness, and without proper action, misconceptions and misinformation about air quality can spread.
To address this issue, Sonoma Technology has developed an innovative solution.
Sonoma Technology built the air quality forecast model ExactAQ that uses PurpleAir data, along with other data sources, to help governments, businesses, organizations, and communities better understand their air quality from hour to hour and neighborhood to neighborhood. Read on to learn about this latest air quality innovation.
What is Sonoma Technology?
Sonoma Technology is a private consulting firm developing cutting-edge environmental solutions since 1982. Founded by four scientists in Sonoma County, they’ve been instrumental in numerous scientific breakthroughs. One of which is demonstrating long-range air pollution transport and its impacts on people.
Over 40 years later, Sonoma Technology continues to make significant technological and environmental contributions in an ethical, objective, and solutions-focused manner. Some of their work includes developing the U.S. AirNow system, modeling wildfires to help counties with evacuation planning, and helping community members monitor their local air quality. They’ve also collaborated with major organizations such as the U.S. EPA, NOAA, and NASA in a mission to improve air quality information.
Now, Sonoma Technology is working with PurpleAir to create another win for air quality. With Sonoma Technology’s ExactAQ, we’re helping air quality organizations, governments, researchers, and communities across the globe to understand local air pollution. Then, they can make data driven decisions to protect public health.
What is ExactAQ?
ExactAQ is a high-resolution air quality map, forecast model, and data service that launched in 2022. It runs continuously to provide information about current and forecast air quality conditions. What sets ExactAQ apart is that it doesn’t just use data from a limited number of air quality monitors.
Instead, it collects and analyzes millions of air quality data points per minute from multiple data sources including PurpleAir, AirNow, and other reliable agencies and companies. These data are combined with even more information such as weather conditions, land use characteristics, and even active fire information.
This approach makes ExactAQ a powerful air quality model that provides one of the most comprehensive maps ever created for hourly, localized air quality information and forecasts.
Through ExactAQ, people and organizations can make data-driven decisions with regard to air quality. Moreover, it empowers them to advance air quality research, product development, and other similar innovations.
How PurpleAir’s Collaboration with ExactAQ Is Innovating Air Quality Data
With the rising use of low-cost air quality monitors, there are now more air quality data and maps available for anyone to use. However, these data sources continue to have limitations, including these three core issues:
- Data Gaps. Because the public can voluntarily deploy air quality monitors, air quality monitoring is not occurring in many places worldwide. One such example is the limited air quality data in Africa.
- Inconsistent Data. Because air quality maps use different data and air quality index scales to make assessments, the air quality data presented from map to map can be conflicting and confusing.
- General Bias. With the lack of air quality data from some locations, some air quality maps have more bias than others. Some data are altered using formulas and may present an inaccurate picture of air quality levels.
All of these issues can result in data blindness and misleading information. Unreliable information, in return, prevents organizations, governments, and the public from making informed decisions such as how to reduce exposure or how to advocate for policy that improves air quality.
So, ExactAQ has collaborated with PurpleAir to solve that problem. ExactAQ provides maps with no data gaps, with the help of PurpleAir and other measurement networks, and uses advanced science to harmonize inconsistencies between data sources and reduce bias.
PurpleAir has one of the most extensive air quality networks, with over 22,000 air quality monitors around the globe. Because of this, PurpleAir data are not only hyper-local but also highly precise. Additionally, the PurpleAir Map shows real-time data refreshed every two minutes—the shortest update interval yet.
By using PurpleAir data, ExactAQ is able to offer maps in which even more cities and towns in the U.S. include data from a local air monitor. The average person is twice as close to a monitor when PurpleAir is included compared to when only government air monitors are used. That is a major improvement in the information that people have to understand their local air quality.
In addition, ExactAQ offers the first-ever 48-hour air quality forecast for PurpleAir monitors. ExactAQ provides an hourly forecast for the next two days for every individual PurpleAir monitor as well as the places in between. With ExactAQ’s forecast, you can make decisions about your daily life, especially when air pollution is going to change from morning to afternoon and from day to day.
We are ecstatic to be a part of ExactAQ as it sets the standard in high resolution air quality information and air quality forecast models. We also can’t wait to hear how communities, governments, and businesses use it as they work for better air quality. We are also interested to know if you would like an air quality forecast for your PurpleAir. Reach out to our team and let us know if this interests you!
Connect With PurpleAir
Tons of organizations and researchers around the world are using PurpleAir data—from Google to the U.S. EPA. We’re thrilled to see research like this being used to help neighborhoods and communities, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future.
Are you a technology company or institution looking to work with PurpleAir?