China's Ministry of Environmental Protection is tackling the country's severe air-pollution problems by using a holistic approach to the collection, analysis and quality assurance of vast amounts of data — and making the information publicly accessible.
The ministry has improved sharing of data from multiple sources. Satellite data are used to analyse and predict general air quality and pollution by particulate matter. Drones monitor pollution discharges, measure air quality and assess the effectiveness of environmental-protection programmes. Citizens contribute widely by promptly reporting pollution episodes.
The ministry provides the platform to harvest, manage and publish these data. It also merges weather and air-quality information with chemical modelling to assist early-warning systems for potentially severe smog incidents.
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