Air Quality Data System Vision and Goals

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Some Aspects of the AQ CoP Vision

Closing Loops

    • User- Provider - Mediator loop closed
    • Science Loop: Emissions - Model - Observation loop
    • Management Loop: Set Goals - Establish Deviation - Corrective Action Loop

Specific AQ Applications

Innovative IT is to be connected to real applications and demonstrated as a closed loop system.

  • Service to the Public: Nowcasting and forecasting Air Quality
  • Service to Science: Comprehensive, Integrated Aerosol Retrieval
  • Service to AQ Management": Exceptional Event Handling


  • Network

Annotated Vision Statements

The Community Air Quality Data System can not exist in isolation. Its vision needs to incorporate the needs of the Air Quality community - but also needs to be consistent with the visions of the broader environmental data systems. Here is a summary of visions. Please feel free to modify or add other 'visions'

GEOSS: An emerging public information infrastructure for Earth Obs

Vision: Observing the Earth and monitoring its host of complex systems is a role no one organization masters. GEO is providing the structure and opportunity for governments and organizations to actively seek better solutions for our changing planet. GEOSS as an emerging public infrastructure could prove as essential to economic and social progress in the 21st century as new transport and communications systems were in the 20th. José Achache, GEO Secretariat Director

GEO: Home | About | Chairs Letter | Meetings | Brochure | Documents
GEOSS: Architecture and Data | Science and Technology | User Interface | Capacity Building | GEOSS AIP AQ Scenario | Core AI Report | Other Resources

GEO: Coordinates the construction of GEOSS by 2015

  • Group on Earth Observations (GEO, formed in 2005; 100+ govs. orgs.) coordinates the construction of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) by the year 2015.
  • GEO links Earth observation systems for gaining complete picture of the planet; ensures universal access to EO data as public good; builds trust & multi-stakeholder collaboration

GEOSS: An emerging public information infrastructure for EO

GEO Arch EngView 0802.pngGEO Arch Funct Process 0802.png

  • GEOSS, like the Internet, connects data/information providers and users; to deliver reliable, up-to-date and user friendly information – vital for the work of decision makers, planners and emergency managers.
  • The GOESS ‘system of systems’ will pro-actively link together observing systems and promote common technical standards for finding and accessing diverse data so that they can be combined into coherent data sets;
  • GEOSS simultaneously coordinates interrelated societal benefit areas and thus avoids duplication, encourages synergies and ensures economic benefits.
  • The implementation of GEOSS is under the guidance of the technical Committees; Architecture and Data, Science and Technology, User Interface, and Capacity Building.

RHusar evaluation: GEOSS has both a vision and an evolving implementation plan. However, the evolving ecosystem is not yet integrated, and difficult to access. Too many activities, perspectives ... Still, GEOSS is the most appropriate/relevant model, guide, platform for the Community AQ Data System.

NSF Cyberinfrastructure - Data Vision

Left Vision: “…a vision in which science and engineering digital data are routinely deposited in well-documented form, are regularly and easily consulted and analyzed by specialists and non-specialists alike, are openly accessible while suitably protected, and are reliably preserved.”

Strategic plan seeks to (1) Promote a change in culture; (2) Catalyze development of a national digital data framework; (2)Support new generations of tools, services, and capabilities

Goals: (1) To catalyze the development of a system of science and engineering data collections that is open, extensible and evolvable. (2) To support development of a new generation of tools and services facilitating data acquisition, mining, integration, analysis, and visualization.

Principles: ....Broad community engagement is necessary in reviewing and prioritizing data activities; Data is only useful if it can be found, understood, and analyzed; ..International, interagency, and public-private partnerships are essential. Requirements:

A. Coherent Organizational Framework (Diversity of approaches; Communities of practice; Community proxy roles of collections; Dynamic and evolving system; Flexible Technological Architecture; Coherent Data Policies)
B. Flexible Technological Architecture (Layered capabilities; Metadata; Data analysis and visualization tools; Promoting use and stability of standards)
C. Coherent Data Policies (Transparent policy frameworks; Data management plans; Interagency coordination; International cooperation)

Rhusar Evaluation: Good material for overall strategy formulation. No specific guidance on howto.

NASA Data System Capability Vision

NASA Capability Vision - see also webcast. IT Vision Framework and Top 10 items:

  • Scalable Analysis Portals
  • Assisted Data & Service Discovery
  • Community Modeling Frameworks
  • Assisted Knowledge Building
  • Interactive Data Analysis
  • Interoperable Information Services
  • Seamless Data Access
  • Responsive Information Delivery
  • Verifiable Information Quality
  • Evolvable Technical Infrastructure

RHusar Evaluation: Good vision/guide on IT system/technologies. (after all it was prepared by good people :)) So-so on the systems architecture that ties the components together.

IGACO Integrated Global Atmospheric Chemistry Framework

IGACO Framework.png
  • System for data collection from various sources
  • System for archiving and distribution of the data
  • End-to-end quality-assurance and quality control system for quantifying uncertainties

RHusar evaluation: IGACO is a well thought of plan for creating high quality atmospheric chemistry datasets. QA/QC is emphasized. Weak on the architecture or implementation of the Data Systems.

EU MACC Initiative and Services

MACC - Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate - is the project that is establishing the core global and regional atmospheric environmental services delivered as a component of Europe's GMES initiative. It is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union and began on 1 June 2009. MACC takes as its input comprehensive sets of satellite data supplying information on atmospheric dynamics, thermodynamics and composition .In-situ data from meteorological networks and of atmospheric composition. Data are processed to provide a range of products related to climate forcing, air quality, stratospheric ozone, UV radiation at the earth’s surface and resources for solar power generation. MACC operates a value-adding chain which extracts information from as wide a range of observing systems as possible and combines the information in a set of data and graphical products that have more complete spatial and temporal coverage and are more readily applicable than the data provided directly by the observing systems.


The MACC products are based on the requirements established for the core atmospheric component of GMES. They emanate from:

Global service lines providing: monitoring of aspects of climate, climate forcing and the sources and sinks of key species; monitoring of stratospheric ozone; forecasts of reactive gases and aerosols; boundary conditions for regional models.

European service lines providing: air quality forecasts from high-resolution regional systems; air quality assessments based on retrospective running of the regional systems using validated observational data;

UV radiation assessments and forecasts; solar-energy resource assessments and forecasts.

Service lines for policy development, including establishment of effective dialogue with the European Environment Agency, national and regional environment agencies and EMEP, so that MACC can shape its programme to support their work

The building blocks of MACC are a set of components with specific functions that are grouped into four clusters. The input data cluster acquires the satellite and in-situ observations and carries out preparatory processing of them. It also provides improved estimates of surface emissions of key species, with a particular emphasis on the highly variable emissions from fires. The primary global and regional clusters operate and refine processing systems that include not only the data assimilation and modelling elements that provide the basic monitoring and forecasting products, but also the elements that provide estimates of climate forcing, inferred corrections to the modelled sources and sinks, and derived products such as UV radiation and resources for solar power generation. An outreach cluster provides the interface to downstream-service providers and other users, runs the service-chain test cases and supports the development of policy for the control of atmospheric pollution.

RHusar comments: MACC is quite unique in that its vision is pragmatic, services-oriented and concrete. This vision could be the core of the AQ CoP vision as supplemented by the governance vision of GEOSS, technology visions of NSF and GEOSS; ....

EMEP Vision

The Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) will continue to be the main science-based and policy-driven instrument for international cooperation in atmospheric monitoring and modelling, emission inventories and projections, and integrated assessment to help solve transboundary air pollution problems. To this end it seeks to develop:

  • SCIENCE - EMEP establishes sound scientific evidence and provides guidance to underpin, develop and evaluate environmental policies;
  • PARTNERSHIP - EMEP fosters international partnership to find solutions to environmental problems
  • OPENNESS - EMEP encourages the open use of intellectual resources and products;
  • SHARING - EMEP is transparent and shares information and expertise with research programmes, expert institutions, national and international organizations, and environmental agreements;
  • ORGANIZATION - EMEP is organized to integrate information on emissions, environmental quality, effects and abatement options, and to provide the basis for solutions.

ESIP Community AQ DataSystem Vision & Goals

A sustainable, structured network of interconnected multi-organizational air quality data integration and analysis systems providing users ability to:

A) Query data across temporal, spatial and composition (chemical species or physical property) dimensions; and 
B) Perform analysis functions and provide graphical presentation interfaces for a variety of user defined environmental and health welfare assessment needs

System Attributes:

  • Open web-based access to data using standard protocols and formats consistent with GEOSS conventions
  • Well documented and iteratively developed metadata accompanying data sources
  • Access to variety of data including routine surface based air quality observations, satellite data, emissions and modeling results
  • Harmonization of disparate data sets and enhancements through data integration processes
  • Minimization of redundancies; Support for well defined air quality applications


  • High level objectives (reason for having a community data system) include support for a variety of air quality related assessments including, but not limited to:
    • Model evaluation
    • Trends and accountability
    • Exposure and health effects studies
    • Ecosystem effects
    • Air quality management (regulatory and policy)
    • Air quality forecasting and public health warnings
  • Increase awareness and ease access to available air quality information through data interoperability
  • Reducing burden of routine data access and sub-setting operations to shift resources toward data interpretation and analysis
  • Increase data quality and value through exposure to and feedback from a broad user community
  • Guide EPA in planning and modifications to existing and emerging air quality data repositories and air quality data integration systems
  • Leverage existing data systems by improving overall effectiveness and efficiencies by reducing redundancies and increasing user community participation

Director of National Intelligence

  • Mission: Create Decision Advantage
  • Vision: A Globally Networked Intelligence Enterprise
  • Strategy:
    • Integrate foreign, military and domestic intelligence capabilities through
    • policy, personnel and technology actions to
    • provide decision advantage to policy makers, warfightirs, homeland security officials and law enforcement personnel
  • Values: Commitment, Courage, Collaboration

The purpose of this vision document is to chart a new path for a globally networked and integrated Intelligence Enterprise based on integration, collaboration and innovation.

Community Air Quality Data System Workspace

Data Summit Workspace2008-04-14Air Quality Data System Vision and GoalsHusar