On Saturday 3rd March took place the Open Data Day, for the occasion, no less than 355 events occurred around the globe. One of them, “Towards Clean Air with Open Data!”, happened in BeCentral in Brussels.

During the morning, 8 talks on open air quality data were given by citizens, experts, students and entrepreneurs. They talked about different initiatives in Belgium, the effects on health of air pollution, and more. You can find the links to the slides of the presentations below, also, everything was recorded so the talks are available on Open Knowledge Belgium’s YouTube Channel .

In the afternoon, two workshops were given:

  • Analyzing and visualizing open air quality data
  • Build your own sensor

The first one lasted around two hours, it was given by Dominik Rubo who knows a lot about open air quality data analysis and visualization. By the end of the workshop, people were able to extract the data provided by the sensors, analyse it and visualize it. If you’re interested, you can find the github link to do it yourself here.

The second one, given by Yannick Verbelen and Pieter Van der Vennet, aimed at teaching people how to build their own sensor so they would only need to plug it in at home to be operational. Thanks to this workshop, they managed to build 22 sensors that are probably collecting data now. We expect that more and more workshops of this kind will take place in different cities so we will have a better understanding of air quality in Belgium. You couldn’t come at the workshop and you can’t wait to build your own sensor? Here is a complete tutorial with resources to order the pieces and build it at home!

The event finished on a cold beer in the end of the afternoon to relax after this extensive program. It is awesome to see the dedication people put in such project during their free time. The success of such event is a good indicator that open air quality data has a bright future in Belgium.

If you want to actively join the movement, Civic Lab Brussels members work on air quality measurements every other Tuesday. Join our meetup page to learn more about it! We are looking for technical and non-technical people, so come as you are whatever your skills are.


Pictures of the event
Analyzing and visualizing open air quality data
How to build your own sensor
Recordings of the talks

Presentations’ slides:

Dries Van Ransbeeck & Evelyn De Wachter – InfluencAir, citizens measuring air quality in Brussels
Carina Veeckman – Participatory processes for air quality measurements through hackAIR
Tim Cassiers – Air quality projects by BRAL, a citizen movement in Brussels
Olav Peeters – Hosting open data endpoints at IRCEL-CELINE serving air quality data from the three Belgian regional government measurement networks
Thomas Duvivier – The potential impact of a citizen-driven air quality measurement project
Vlatka Matkovic – Air quality and its implications on our health
Maarten Reyniers – Citizen project for mapping air quality in Leuven at high spatial resolution

Categories: Event

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *