What data is expected?
Aggregate data about the emission of air pollutants especially those potentially harmful to human health (although it is not a requirement to include information on greenhouse gas emissions). Aggregate means national-level or available for at least three major cities. In order to satisfy the minimum requirements for this category, data must be available for the following pollutants and meet the following minimum criteria:
- Particulate matter (PM) Levels
- Sulphur oxides (SOx)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Updated on at least once a week.
- Measured either at a national level by regions or at leasts in 3 big cities.
What data is available
- Openly licensed? Yes(Here)
- Is the data available for free? Yes
- Is the data machine readable? Yes (CSV, HTML, RSS)
- Available in bulk? No
- Is the data provided on a timely and up to date basis? Yes
- Publicly available? Yes(as UK-Air Database published by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
- Is data in digital form? Yes
- Is the data available online? Yes (Here)
- Does the data exist? Yes
Realtime and recent historical data about observed levels of air pollutants and particulates at 128 automatic observing stations across the UK are at http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk. Pollutants covered include Ozone, Nitric oxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Nitrogen oxides as nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, Carbon monoxide, PM10 particulate matter, Non-volatile PM10, Volatile PM10, PM2.5 particulate matter, Non-volatile PM2.5, and Volatile PM2.5. All this data is under the Open Government Licence. An RSS feed of latest data is available at http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/rss/current_site_levels.xml , although this points to HTML pages such as http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/site-data?f_site_id=ACTH&view=last_hour . The Data Selector http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/data_selector allows a custom table to be constructed and either viewed or sent to the requestor as a CSV file. However there is a limit on the extent of the query (one test-drive for the Census gave "The selection you requested will return 1176 rows of data in 770 columns. This exceeds our limit of 256 columns."). This meets the Census requirement, apart from bulk download. In addition national estimates of annual emissions of 36 air pollutants from 1971-2011 are downloadable in CSV format under the Open Government Licence from http://naei.defra.gov.uk/data/data-selector, but again this is in the form of a table-builder and it does not seem possible to download all the data in bulk. Further public environmental data for the UK is maintained by several public bodies (mainly the Environment Agency for England and Wales, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, plus Defra and DECC). Broadly speaking, data on major sources of pollutants is readily available via Government websites and public mapping applications. Some complete datasets are available as open data, notably from Defra: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs/series/air-quality-and-emissions-statistics. Some environmental data is subject to additional licensing arrangements - see for instance http://www.geostore.com/environment-agency/WebStore?xml=environment-agency/xml/ogcDataDownload.xml
Reviewer 2014 - Data continues not to be available in bulk. Added link to the license.
Added name of organization and dataset. Corrected information on in-bulk availability of data: data is not available in bulk, only after selecting a station and pollutant, file can be send as .csv to e-mail account.
- Daniela Mattern
- Daniela Mattern