Is Purple air worth buying?

Is Purple air worth buying? I’d say at the moment on a scale of 1-10, negative 10, with 10 or more. reasons to avoid… Access to data has taken a dive… now very poor. The API is a total washout, its totally geeked out, knowledge driven over bloated and complicated alternative to a decent download tool. To me the API is like a dysfunctional idiot that can only speak geek, totally inaccessible without the precise gobbledygook knowledge of well a grounded programmer. So how is PurpleAir citizen science fairing? Only good for geeks, very bad for everyone else.

Whoa. You work for a competitor? lol

To me, the information provided by PurpleAir, at a relatively reasonable cost, is invaluable to my health. On the spot, real-time. Great public service, bringing the pollution that’s typically been tolerated by public policy, to light.

Now, it’d be even better, once they have an ethernet solution, not requiring WIFI to be constantly on (or turned off/on for spot checking).


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Robert, I would like to use Purple Air, and indeed its specs are impressive +10… but… and this is the big problem, it lacks a functioning UI. In this respect competitors like IQAir have a significant advantage when starting to monitor air quality. IQAir has a download facility supporting CSV’s and their raw data @ 5 min intervals is very useful. A download can be rapidly expedited and integrated into spreadsheet and graphing software or whatever with no hassle. To use Purple Air was simple, but now exceedingly complicated and clumsy, one is forced to use the API, which requires knowledge of programming. Even the simplest “how to” API *instructions state basic programming knowledge is required, and then launch into geek almost immediately! To me Purple Air appears to lack the step by step tuition and detailed guidance notes needed to make it accessible, something to replace the ever so simple UI that Purple Air axed in October… Lets face it, an unsupported API is a real sales killer. So on that basis Purple Air is a let down -10… Is there something I’ve missed?

*Ethan_Breinholt - This guide will help you understand the basics of sending HTTP requests and making API calls. This article assumes you to have a basic knowledge of programming.

Hi Nic,

We understand your frustration in migrating the data to a new service. Using API is a temporary solution so users can still access data as we migrate to a more user-friendly alternative. If you’re experiencing difficulties in accessing the data, we’re more than happy to help. Please reach out to our support team for assistance.

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Hi Robert,

We agree that being able to use an ethernet cable instead of relying on Wi-Fi would be a valuable option. Unfortunately, we don’t have a timeline for the roll-out but it is something we’re working on.

We appreciate your patience!

I also wanted to mention the PA-II-SD. While still capable of sending data to the PurpleAir map, this sensor will log its data to the internal SD card, with or without a WiFi connection. To read more information you can click here.

Is it possible to send data to a NAS to make local data storage workable?

Absolutely 100% worth to buy it. All I want is to see the AQI of my neighborhood in the map because the local authorities values are quite fake.

About the API, etc, don’t expect to do Data Science without knowing a bit of programming… :stuck_out_tongue: I’m sorry you have difficulties with programming, but maybe in this forum you can get some help about that…

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I think PurpleAir is a very valuable tool for anyone concerned about small particle pollution on a local level. I do some analysis via the real-time API, but our local sensors are used by people with little technical knowledge via the PurpleAir map.

Can the data you require not be downloaded in CSV format from the download page?


Hey People

Yes I would programe but haven’t seen basic entry level tutorials for Purpleair devices? I’m publishing air quality graphs with comments about air pollution in the city of Canterbury UK and need quick access to data. Data is loaded in CSV format into Excel spreadsheets… it works a treat with IQair, and which I was forced to buy because Purpleair made downloads unworkable in the short term, in fact blocked downloads, can’t say that was the best move. You see the problem, Purpleair is restricting use to API and which requires people to have programming skills and apply for keys to get downloads! Wow! Anyone know if there is a NOx detector for Purpleair?

Yes, very much worth buying.

Best investment I have made in my health. First thing I look at in the morning - and look at it many times throughout the day. Helps me navigate local horrible air pollution from wood burning stoves. And when air pollution blows in from abroad.

Wish more people would put up monitors here - there are practically no government monitors and awareness of dangers of air pollution is abysmal.

PurpleAir team does a great job - and continue to work on providing a public map with AQI info - and so much more.

If you have problems ask for help :slight_smile:

It’s common to use tokens to access APIs as a measure of anti-abuse. Cheer up on that :slight_smile: Take a look a Udemy, that maybe you find an affordable course there about REST APIs and Python (or alike).

About NOx detector, I wish the same!! There is not, as far as I know. I hope in the future…