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Clarity Movement partners with OpenAQ to bring data from new regions to leading global air quality platform

Leading air quality monitoring provider Clarity Movement Co. has partnered with OpenAQ — a non-profit organization that connects communities with open data to fight air inequality across the globe — to bring data from low-cost sensors in new regions to the OpenAQ platform. 

OpenAQ and Clarity announced today their partnership to address a gap in air quality data availability around the world. Making air quality data openly available empowers governments and communities to take action against air pollution. 

Air pollution is responsible for as many as 1 in 5 premature deaths globally — yet in many regions around the world, a lack of reliable air quality data means that air pollution remains an invisible killer. Less than 50% of governments around the world have any air quality monitoring infrastructure in place, limiting the ability of governments and other stakeholders to take informed action to improve air quality. 

Starting today, data from participating Clarity air quality sensor networks around the world now appear on the OpenAQ global air quality map. In addition, the data from Clarity sensors are available for use by OpenAQ’s community of researchers, activists, and regulators for other air quality analysis functions. 

The partnership between OpenAQ and Clarity brings together best-in-class partners offering promising possibilities for improving air quality in cities around the world. By strengthening monitoring and increasing transparency and access to trusted sources of air quality data, we can effectively tackle air pollution with better designed and informed policies and solutions to protect communities and those most at risk.”

— Ailun Yang, International Initiatives, Climate and Environment Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies
OpenAQ is very excited about this data-sharing partnership with Clarity. Clarity has been working actively with governments across the globe to help develop more robust air quality monitoring networks in communities that bear the biggest burden from air pollution. We hope that this partnership will help pave the way toward greater data transparency and encourage more companies to open up their data so that we can collectively advance the mission to fight air inequality across the globe.”

— Chisato Fukuda Calvert, Ph.D., Deputy Director, OpenAQ
Making data on air quality more transparent and accessible to all is a game changer in the fight against air pollution around the world. That’s why the Clean Air Fund supports OpenAQ’s enabling data platform and it’s great to see this new partnership with Clarity. We encourage other air quality sensor companies to follow suit in openly sharing their data for the benefit of all. Cleaning up our air is vital for our health, climate and economy.”

— Matt Whitney, Portfolio Manager - Data, Clean Air Fund
We are thrilled that we are now able to share data from our network of Clarity sensors with the broader OpenAQ community. Open access to air quality data is key to improving our collective understanding of air pollution and its impacts. Platforms like OpenAQ’s are essential to advancing air quality awareness and research initiatives. The addition of data from Clarity and other low-cost sensors will vastly expand the number of measurement points available to the OpenAQ community and help OpenAQ realize its mission of promoting equitable access to clean air around the world.”

— Michael Ogletree, Air Quality Program Manager, City and County of Denver
Clarity is delighted to make air quality data from our participating partners’ air monitoring networks available to the OpenAQ community. Our mission is to empower the world to fight air pollution with accurate air quality data at scale, and we’re thrilled to support the important work being done by OpenAQ to bring harmonized air quality data to their vibrant ecosystem of researchers, activists, and regulators. The availability of public, high-resolution air quality data can greatly improve regional air quality management coordination and research around the world!”

— Sean Wihera, Director of Business Development, Clarity Movement

Government air quality monitoring capacity faces significant gaps around the world

OpenAQ’s mission is to connect communities with open data to fight air inequality across the globe. The OpenAQ platform is the world’s largest open air quality data platform, aggregating and harmonizing over 8 billion data points from more than 120 countries across the globe.

Until this year, OpenAQ’s work focused on harmonizing air quality data from reference-grade monitoring stations, given the credibility and relative uniformity of data derived from official sources. However, in a 2020 Global State of Play report, OpenAQ found that relying solely on data from government sources would leave 1.4 billion people without access to information about the air they are breathing. 

Only four out of ten governments share real-time air quality data, and unfortunately, the countries facing the worst air pollution tend to have the least air quality data available.

Caption: Availability of air quality data from government sources is negatively correlated with air pollution concentrations in countries around the world. (Source: OpenAQ, 2020 Global State of Play)

Filling in the gaps with low-cost sensor data

Low-cost air sensor (LCS) technology provides a compelling solution in regions without air quality monitoring infrastructure. LCS can be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively in regions with little or no existing reference air monitors to help to fill in the air quality data gaps that exist in more than half of countries around the world. 

Low-cost sensor technology has improved significantly in recent years, and regulatory bodies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have published performance targets and testing protocols to further promote the development and use of this technology. LCS data can serve as a reliable source of information for real-time air pollution concentration and trends — especially when the data are properly calibrated.

With LCS becoming an increasingly prominent and reliable source of air quality data for communities and governments around the world, OpenAQ made the strategic decision to launch a low-cost sensor pilot program in February 2021. The OpenAQ Platform has now expanded to include over 8 billion data points, including data from various low-cost sensor partners including Environmental Defense Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and HabitatMap.

Given the success of the LCS pilot, OpenAQ has begun to include LCS data from a number of leading air quality monitoring providers to its data platform and global air quality map

Data from Clarity air quality sensor networks around the world can now be integrated with the OpenAQ platform 

Clarity Movement provides air quality monitoring services to partners in more than 60 countries around the world — including many where reference air monitors are limited or unavailable. 

While Clarity’s customers always retain all rights to the air quality data produced by their devices, they now have the option to share this information publicly with the OpenAQ community — contributing to the availability of³ open-source air quality data. 

With this agreement, OpenAQ and Clarity are taking an important step toward ensuring that nobody goes without access to information about the air they breathe. 

Some of the first Clarity partners to contribute data to the OpenAQ ecosystem include: 

Additional data points will become available as more Clarity networks opt-in to data-sharing. Existing Clarity customers that wish to participate in the OpenAQ data platform can reach out to their account manager to learn more about the process for contributing their data to the platform. 

Air quality data is sourced from the Clarity Node-S devices — Clarity’s flagship particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sensor — included in participating partners' networks. 

Available measurements include Mass Concentration [μg/m³] and Number Concentration [#/cm³] for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10, and Concentration [ppb] for NO2. The OpenAQ community has access to both raw data and data that has been calibrated via Clarity's Remote Calibration service.

To learn more about low-cost air quality sensors and how to establish a low-cost monitoring network, see Clarity’s Guide to Leveraging Low-Cost Sensors for Air Quality Monitoring 2.0 or get in touch with Clarity to speak with an air quality expert. 

To learn more about how to participate in the OpenAQ community, visit their website here