In my city (Almeria, Spain) there are two stations that measure the local Air Quality.
Let’s analyze them and see if they are located in the correct places and if they feature the necessary instruments for measuring the AQI properly.
It is located in “El Boticario” a park 10km outside of the city center. The coordinates according to an official document from“Junta de Andalucía” are UTMX:554439 and UTMY:4080272, but they aren’t correct (Not so professional). The real coordinates are UTMX:554319 and UTMY:4080066. This station seems to work well although they don’t feed the data in real time to the public and quite often is down.
This station measures NO2 and O3. I don’t see the point of measuring NO2 outside of a city as cars don’t pass by so often. O3 can be formed in that zone due to the aggressive agriculture that is going on around the park.
The Roadside station is supposed to be located in the city, next to a busy road called “Mediterráneo”. The coordinates according to the same official document are UTMX:549443 and UTMY:4077621, but again they aren’t real because I went there to see the station with my eyes and I couldn’t find it. The only thing I found, were boxes in awful conditions from telecommunication companies and inside those boxes there can’t be any air quality sensor.
The real coordinates are UTMX:549339 and UTMY:4077417 where we can find the station inside a park next to the street and surrounded by trees.
This station measures SO2, NO2, PM10, O3 and CO. A great range of sensors but no PM2.5. The station is providing data to the citizens since 1998. It doesn’t provide data in realtime and it take measurements every 10 minuets, but you can only see the data of the pervious days.
My thoughts, in my case the Background station is far away from the city, totally different zone and representation. A Background station should be in a quiet neighborhood and outside the city center. The Roadside station should provide realtime data as it can inform the citizens immediately about the AQI of the city and PM2.5 must be added. The location should be different too. We have so many roundabouts here in Spain and these are the best locations to place an AQI station (not buried between trees in a park).
IoT devices are the future, so the city council or the regional council should consider upgrading the stations and the prices aren’t so high any more, they absolutely can fit 2 stations inside the budget.
Do you know where your Public AQI Monitors are? Do you face the same problem in your area like I do?