EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

AQSens: An Interoperable Platform Integrating Citizen Science and Authoritative Air Quality Data

Simon Jirka1, Eike Hinderk Jürrens1, Benedikt Gräler1, Carsten Hollmann1, Alexander Kotsev2, Michel Gerboles2, Annette Borowiak2, and Sven Schade2
Simon Jirka et al.
  • 1.52°North GmbH, Münster, Germany
  • 2European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

Over the last few years there have been many activities to evaluate and use air quality measurements gathered by lower cost devices. This is especially intended to complement the coverage of official air quality measurement networks that deliver authoritative air quality data. Examples of such activities include the AirSensEUR project of the Joint Research Centre (JRC),, or hackAIR. Combining the data from multiple sources remains a challenge for utilising the full potential of those developments.

With this presentation we aim to introduce the development of an interoperable data platform that allows to integrate both authoritative as well as citizen science air quality measurements. Our presentation will cover especially the following aspects:

Interoperability: For sharing the collected data and to avoid the creation of isolated data silos, it is important to use open interfaces and data encodings. In case of the AQSens project, this comprises the provision of INSPIRE-compliant Download Services based on the SensorThings API (STA) and Sensor Observation Service (SOS) standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Data analytics: Besides providing access to the raw data, different types of data analysis are necessary. On the one hand this comprises the validation of incoming citizen science data in conjunction with corresponding authoritative data sources. On the other hand, the aim is to provide a tool for further data analysis on top of the collected data. For this purpose we show, how the R programming language can be linked to the Sensor Web Server via a dedicated R package (sos4R).

Data visualisation: Finally, for enabling the visual exploration of the collected data, a Web-based client application will be provided. This allows users to connect to the published air quality Data Download Services (in this case the OGC SensorThings API) and to request graph-based time series visualisations combining data from potentially different sources.

In summary, our presentation will show how existing interoperability standards as well as Web technologies can be used for building a Cloud-ready data platform (i.e. relying on Docker) that enables the collection, management, analysis, and visualisation of both Citizen Science and authoritative air quality data.

How to cite: Jirka, S., Jürrens, E. H., Gräler, B., Hollmann, C., Kotsev, A., Gerboles, M., Borowiak, A., and Schade, S.: AQSens: An Interoperable Platform Integrating Citizen Science and Authoritative Air Quality Data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14358,, 2020


Display file