Adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) To The Map To Improve It

As we know, air quality is ‘Hyper-Local’, such that 2 houses very close to each other can show very different air quality readings, based upon different factors (e.g. a nearby fireplace, barbq, cigarette smoker, cooking, diesel engines, etc).

Therefore the usefulness of the air quality map is diminished, as people can not easily identify and exclude readings that may be impacted by hyper-local conditions.

However, Artificial Intelligence can be used to identify which readings are likely impacted temporarily by these hyper local factors, using 1) Wind Speed and direction. 2). Other sensor Readings 3) The recorded history of each sensor and its patterns. 4). Likely other factors that I am not smart enough to identify.

It would be very useful to offer an AI layer on the map that could exclude less valid sensor readings that are impacted by hyper local factors. This would allow people to see a potentially more useful regional pattern of air quality.

For example, here in Upstate NY, near Lake George, we now experience much Canadian Wildfire Smoke, originating from hundreds of miles North of here, since June, 2023. It would be interesting and potentially useful to be able to better understand the impact that this wildfire smoke is having on our region, without the confounding effects of local wood burning home fireplaces on local sensors. This would allow people to better determine 1). How soon air quality may improve or worsen 2). When may be a good time to enjoy outdoor activities or avoid them.

If you look closely at the sensor readings for extreme Eastern NY, from Canada to Albany, you can see that these sensors often show higher PM readings than the sensors in the Adirondack region of NY, to our West, but at the same latitude. This is not surprising, considering how populated North Eastern NY is from Albany to Canada, relative to the minimally populated area of the Adirondack region immediately to our West.

It would be interesting to know how much smoke originates from Canada and other non-local sources, versus the smoke that originates locally. So I hope that an AI map option will be added in the near future, to better pinpoint the sources of our air pollution. Any comments are appreciated.

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If you’re trying to identify the sources of pollutants sourcing from outside your area, especially wildfire smoke, then the HRRR-Smoke model may be of use to you: