CERC — Environmental Software and Services

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11 Apr 2014Reuters article: How cities can help protect citizens from air pollution

An article entitled 'How cities can help protect citizens from air pollution' by Julian Hunt, Chairman of CERC and Amy Stidworthy, a Principal Consultant at CERC, has been published in Reuters today in response to the recent Saharan dust event in the UK. Click here to read the full article on the Reuters website.


7 Apr 2014TSB Future Cities: "unleashing city data"

The April edition of GIS Professional magazine includes our article about QCumber Smart City, an innovative open city data platform with crowd-sourcing being prototyped by CERC and Algebra. The full article can be read here (pdf).

QCumber Smart City will use innovative interactive map presentations and combine public data with crowd-sourced data, integrating data across various themes including health, energy, environment and transport. Open APIs will be the basis for a thriving ecosystem of third-party apps and services based on phones, websites, smart devices, and social media, leveraging direct access to data through the APIs.

This feasibility study was funded by the Technology Strategy Board under Phase 1 of their Future City Solutions SBRI competition Data Challenge.

Learn more:

4 Apr 2014ADMS-Puff released

We are pleased to announce the release of our new model, ADMS-Puff. ADMS-Puff is a Lagrangian puff model for dense gas releases. Effects of complex terrain and spatially-varying meteorology can be modelled. Output concentrations, flammability limits, and instantaneous and time-integrated health limits can be calculated by the model. Please see here for more details.

3 Apr 2014airTEXT during Saharan dust episode

CERC operates the airTEXT air quality forecasting service for London. Text 'airtext' to 78070 to receive free text alerts or sign up here to receive alerts by text, email or voicemail.

The Government's air quality forecast is provided by the Met Office. Over recent days, the Met Office forecast has far exceeded monitored levels in London. In contrast, airTEXT predictions for London have matched well with observations.

National media attention has focussed on the Government's air pollution forecast for yesterday and today, which predicted high to very high levels of pollution in London due to Saharan dust. Whilst levels were elevated yesterday evening due to the dust and remained elevated overnight, the Met Office forecast over-predicted the duration and intensity of the effect. Alternative forecasts of Saharan dust which are used to inform airTEXT are provided by ECMWF under the EU MACC project. These forecasts predicted elevated but lower levels than the Met Office. The airTEXT forecast across London for today Thursday 3rd April 2014 is 'high' for fine particles. Click here for related health advice.

Note that websites that show the latest observations of fine particles show an average over the previous twenty-four hours, whereas airTEXT predicts an average over the calendar day. Also note that forecasting air pollution accurately is very challenging, especially where sources are difficult to characterise as is the case for Saharan dust. Different forecast providers use different forecasting methods. For more information, please email forecast@cerc.co.uk.

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31 Mar 2014Free background mapping from OpenStreetMap

Users of ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads and ADMS-Airport v 3.2 can now add a free background map layer in the Mapper using a special Protocol Layer Connector file (.ttkwp) available from CERC here. This uses Web Map Services (WMS) to dynamically supply maps from OpenStreetMap.

You can add background map imagery into the Mapper to help display and locate your data and results. In the first example, figure 1 shows some basic road data of Cambridge (UK) from a UPL file being displayed in the Mapper . These road sources are overlaid on a map of Cambridge. The map layer was created by clicking the Add Layer button in the Mapper and selecting the GB WMS ttkwp file. This is shown in figure 1 along with some (dummy) contoured output from the model run.

The second figure shows the Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges in New York (USA), with a Building shape file from NYC Department of Information, Technology & Telecommunications and background map from OpenStreetMap (Global WMS ttkwp file).

Full details of how you can achieve this are available here.

OpenStreetMap is a free community-edited world map © OpenStreetMap contributors & licensed under CC BY-SA.

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