[This is a guest blog post from Talmor Meir, a PhD student at Stevens Institute in the Maritime Security Laboratory.]
Good news to NYC and it’s neighbors: According to The New York Times air across our city is the cleanest it has been in at least 50 years. The conclusions were based on the NYC Air Quality Survey, where measurements are taken at 150 locations throughout NYC metropolitan on a seasonal basis and applied regionally. While I am in support of any effort done to improve the air we breathe, I think we, the citizens of NYC, can do better. We can increase air quality awareness by improving our measurement resolution. Let’s talk about air quality on a finer scale, in our own neighborhoods, on our own street, right outside our windows!
Air Quality-EGG is a project aiming to give citizens a way to participate in the conversation about air quality in their immediate environment. The egg resembles an ostrich egg that sits outside your window or inside your home. It has four sensors built in – Temperature, Humidity, Carbon Monoxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide. The Egg receives information from the sensors every minute and uploads it to a network cloud making all data accessible to the public. The idea is that if we implement such technology into our homes, schools and office spaces, we, the citizens and workers of New York, together, will be able to map the evolution of daily air quality across different neighborhoods.
Our atmospheric science and air pollution research group (Pullen, Meir, Orton, Blumberg) is trying to help encourage more citizens to join in this effort, to strengthen and broaden the network. You can help us gain higher resolution across the NYC by implementing your own egg at home or work. Air Quality Eggs can be ordered from https://shop.wickeddevice.com for $185. The setup is simple and I have found the support team for this project to be very responsive. The egg is pre-assembled and you will be asked to create a profile for your egg, where you get to name it and include details such as location, what floor you live on, indoor/outdoor placement, etc. Once you connect it to your internet router (just like you would any other computer in your home), it begins collecting data. You can then see your specific egg and all other available active eggs across the world at: http://airqualityegg.com.
Whether you purchase the Air Quality Egg or not, you can become part of the conversation by spreading the word and become active in chat forums and other media. Visit this blog again soon to see some analysis of my Egg’s data, located down on Wall St, NYC, or simply follow my Egg’s measurements on your own using the map on their website.