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3 Apr 2014airTEXT during Saharan dust episode

CERC operates the airTEXT air quality forecasting service for London. Text 'airtext' to 78070 to receive free text alerts or sign up here to receive alerts by text, email or voicemail.

The Government's air quality forecast is provided by the Met Office. Over recent days, the Met Office forecast has far exceeded monitored levels in London. In contrast, airTEXT predictions for London have matched well with observations.

National media attention has focussed on the Government's air pollution forecast for yesterday and today, which predicted high to very high levels of pollution in London due to Saharan dust. Whilst levels were elevated yesterday evening due to the dust and remained elevated overnight, the Met Office forecast over-predicted the duration and intensity of the effect. Alternative forecasts of Saharan dust which are used to inform airTEXT are provided by ECMWF under the EU MACC project. These forecasts predicted elevated but lower levels than the Met Office. The airTEXT forecast across London for today Thursday 3rd April 2014 is 'high' for fine particles. Click here for related health advice.

Note that websites that show the latest observations of fine particles show an average over the previous twenty-four hours, whereas airTEXT predicts an average over the calendar day. Also note that forecasting air pollution accurately is very challenging, especially where sources are difficult to characterise as is the case for Saharan dust. Different forecast providers use different forecasting methods. For more information, please email forecast@cerc.co.uk.

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31 Mar 2014Free background mapping from OpenStreetMap

Users of ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads and ADMS-Airport v 3.2 can now add a free background map layer in the Mapper using a special Protocol Layer Connector file (.ttkwp) available from CERC here. This uses Web Map Services (WMS) to dynamically supply maps from OpenStreetMap.

You can add background map imagery into the Mapper to help display and locate your data and results. In the first example, figure 1 shows some basic road data of Cambridge (UK) from a UPL file being displayed in the Mapper . These road sources are overlaid on a map of Cambridge. The map layer was created by clicking the Add Layer button in the Mapper and selecting the GB WMS ttkwp file. This is shown in figure 1 along with some (dummy) contoured output from the model run.

The second figure shows the Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges in New York (USA), with a Building shape file from NYC Department of Information, Technology & Telecommunications and background map from OpenStreetMap (Global WMS ttkwp file).

Full details of how you can achieve this are available here.

OpenStreetMap is a free community-edited world map © OpenStreetMap contributors & licensed under CC BY-SA.

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27 Feb 2014TSB Future Cities project: workshop on QCumber

CERC held a one day workshop on QCumber Smart City, an innovative open city data platform with crowd-sourcing. The workshop on 27 February brought together CERC and Algebra, the developers of QCumber Smart City, with local authority representatives from Belfast, Cambridge, Ipswich and London. The city representatives provided invaluable feedback that will help to shape the future of QCumber Smart City, ensuring it meets the needs of different users within a city.

QCumber Smart City will use innovative interactive map presentations and combine public data with crowd-sourced data, integrating data across various themes including health, energy, environment and transport. Open APIs will be the basis for a thriving ecosystem of third-party apps and services based on phones, websites, smart devices, and social media, leveraging direct access to data through the APIs.

This workshop was part of a feasibility study funded by the Technology Strategy Board under Phase 1 of their Future City Solutions SBRI competition Data Challenge.

Learn more:

5 Feb 2014Havering Council encourages residents to use airTEXT

The London borough of Havering is encouraging residents to sign up to the free airTEXT service, which provides them with free local air quality alerts on their mobile phone, voicemail or by email.

Havering Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Councillor Lesley Kelly, said: "Air quality in Havering is good but many residents work elsewhere in London and the airTEXT service means they can set up alerts for anywhere in the capital. The alerts can be useful reminders to take medication or cut back on physical activity to allow for higher than normal pollution levels."

The airTEXT service is provided on behalf of the airTEXT consortium by CERC using their ADMS-Forecast software.

From AirQualityNews.


24 Jan 2014CERC's Mapper "provides stunning GIS capability"

TatukGIS, the GIS company, have praised CERC's Mapper as providing "stunning GIS capability". The mapping tool originally released with ADMS has now been significantly improved and is included with the latest releases of ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads and ADMS-Airport. The new version can display a 3-D view of your model input, including the terrain and buildings. Each map layer exposes additional properties on a item-by-item basis. This allows you to colour-shade roads, for example, by traffic flow or emission rates. The Mapper has been developed by CERC using the TatukGIS Developer Kernel.

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