From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

The air quality demo will present the use of interoperable web services to aid decision support pertaining to air quality events. The current challenges for air quality information systems include: delivery of air quality data in real time; characterization of air pollution through the integration of multi-sensory data and providing agile support to regulatory air quality management. The demo presents an interoperable web service architecture using standards based data access and processing can support air quality management. The demo highlights two use cases: 1) monitoring and analysis of a wildfire smoke event and 2) use of OMI NO2 in analyzing an anthropogenic air pollution event.

The wildfire use case is focused on major forest fires in Manitoba, Canada in late June and early July 2006 when smoke was transported eastward and south over the Northern Plains. The demo shows how an air quality analyst might use distributed data access, processing and analysis services to understand the impact of smoke on surface air quality.

Data used in the analysis include surface air quality and weather monitors, satellite observations and model forecast output. Data are used from:

  • NOAA (Fire occurrence, smoke plumes)
  • NASA (aerosol model, satellite observations of aerosol optical thickness and NO2)
  • EPA (air pollution concentrations)
  • and others.

All datasets are accessible through web interfaces; in some cases through Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications. DataFed is used for data visualization, integration, processing and analysis. A “third-party” GoogleMaps mashup will be shown to illustrate how open, standard data access interfaces allow these data to be broadly used in a variety of tools and applications.

The demo will present processing services for data analysis. Spatial and temporal aggregation services allow pattern and trend analysis comparisons among data sources. A grid processing service is used to calculate ratios for analyzing differences between model forecasts and satellite observations.

The demo is intended as a starting point for future expansion with other data providers, mediators and users. The hope is that it serves as a foundation for creating more advanced demonstrations and implementations of interoperable web services supporting air quality research and management.

More information can be found on the air quality cluster wiki: