The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


BOC: Pollution Mapping

28 November 2016

CASA and the Environmental Research Group at Kings College London have joined forces to create a 2D/3D interactive air pollution map of London, financed by the British Oxygen (BOC) Foundation, under the auspices of APRIL - Air Pollution Research In London at Imperial College. The system not only shows current pollution levels, but also predictions through to the year 2010.

This is one of our many projects that has emerged from the happy coincidence that the Kings College group use the same software as we use in our Virtual London project to map and model the human landscape and terrain.

The Kings group take data in real time from the various sites around London which report data hourly and then visualise this using a hydro-dynamic model to show the more detailed location of various pollutants. This they visualise in 2D in the software we use to develop our 3D GIS of London. Essentially we visualise this data in Virtual London and then summarise various layers of it using faster technologies which enable web access. 

For the first time, air pollution for a whole city has been related to the three dimensional built environment. The 3D effect brings the data alive for users who are now able to ‘fly’ above London and to see where pollution hot-spots occur. Transport planners can identify the most polluted parts of London. Urban planners can see how building density affects pollution concentrations in the City and other high density areas. The facilities can be used by students to understand pollution sources and dispersion characteristics. Predictions of future air quality to 2010 can be viewed year by year. We are extending this interface as the second demonstrator in our GeoVUE project.