Air Quality and Deforestation: the Interactive Maps

Dec 20, 2016 | written by:

You would like to know in real time if the air you breathe is safe? Or what is the state of the world's forests? Understand the real meaning of the consequences of air pollution and land use is needed to raise awareness about our Planet's health. Observe with their own eyes, even if only virtually, environmental dynamics at work is likely to generate concern. Luckily.

The most alarming reports on air quality of our planet don’t surprise us anymore. Last September a study in the field, which we also spoke about here, was published by WHO. It reported that 92% of the world population lives in areas where the limits of presence of particulate, ie 10 micrograms per cubic meter, are not met. Air pollution makes the air not healthy and puts at risk the lives of individuals causing non-communicable, but chronic diseases.

The tools to raise awareness exist, though perhaps still little known. Recently came AirVisual, an interactive map that allows you to monitor real-time air quality and circulation of fine particles in every part of the world. The data come from satellites and eight thousands ground monitoring stations and are processed by an international team of researchers coordinated by Yann Bocquillod, General Manager of Ixi Groupe.

The mechanisms that influence the levels of fine particles in the atmosphere are complex and do not depend only on human activities, but also on how they interact with natural phenomena such as rain and wind. "Realize how the air is polluted is not easy being at home and that's why we looked for a way easy to understand," explains Boquillod, "See the 3D representation of smog on Earth is almost shocking, our planet is really suffering from pollution that we have produced".

Preserve the existing natural heritage in this scenario becomes a top priority. To monitor the status quo and the real-time evolution of the green lungs of the world can be used CollectEarth. This tool, created by a partnership between Google and FAO and launched at COP22 in Marrakech, allows the user to access and view, in a short time, satellite images and data that would have taken days to be downloaded and then analyzed.


Interactive maps, which are for monitoring air quality or harmful deforestation practices of the planet, will represent a decisive step towards the acquisition of knowledge about the environment. To live better - or perhaps, to be more catastrophic, to survive as a species - we must protect the planet we inhabit: a few excuses, the tools to do increase.

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