Visualising Scotland’s air quality data

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Visualising air quality data

Keeping a check on air pollution in Scotland took a step forward on 24 January 2017 with the launch of SEPA’s new data analysis and visualisation tools within the Scottish Air Quality Scotland website.

Currently available as a beta test site and open for comments, the site pulls data from the Scottish Air Quality Database and presents it in a simple and pre-analysed format. For the first time, air quality data is provided to the public in a visual and informative way, allowing access to the full range of air quality information collected across Scotland. The tools will allow local authorities and members of the public to see what is going on with air quality in their areas.

Scotland’s air quality is monitored by each local authority through a network of 95 automatic monitoring stations. Local authorities have a duty to assess and report on air quality within their area in order to meet the Scottish air quality objectives. Live air quality data is collated within the Scottish Air Quality Database and is accessed through the Scottish Governments’ Scottish Air Quality website.

The new data analysis and visualisation tools provided by SEPA are also hosted on the Scottish Air Quality website, providing:

  • Pre-filtered and analysed air quality data that is accessible to everyone to view and interrogate.
  • Advanced data analysis that provides a more detailed analysis of live and historical air quality data, providing local authorities with reporting data.
  • International data to identify movement of transboundary pollution that crosses Scotland, and affects local air quality.
  • A dedicated area for the National Modelling Framework (NMF), were modelled data is presented for local authorities to develop traffic-specific actions.

Scottish air quality website

The enhancement tools support the delivery of the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy (CAFS) which commits Scottish Government and partner organisations to deliver further improvements in air quality to protect human health and fulfil Scotland’s legal responsibilities. The strategy aims to promote air quality issues to ensure that the public are well informed, engaged, and empowered to improve our air quality.

The partner organisations delivering CAFS are Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, SEPA and local authorities with engagement and support from a wide range of stakeholders including NGOs, health bodies and representatives from the transport sector.

Further information on CAFS is available on the Scottish Air Quality website. Comments on the newly launched beta site should be sent to SAQD_Spotfire@sepa.org.uk.

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