[picture] Atmosphere


Air pollution can have harmful effects on human health, animals and the environment as a whole. High concentrations of ozone, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides continue to cause problems. Recently, efforts to reduce air pollution levels have increased; making improvement of air quality a main task at the national and international level. In order to improve, monitor, and assess air quality on a regular basis Member States of the European Union have established common provisions based on the Council Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management. Consequently, the Member States operate a measurement network to permanently monitor air quality and the following air pollutants: Particles (PM10), Carbon monoxide, Ozone, Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen dioxide.

The Atmosphere Scenario illustrates integration and provision of these air quality data through a Location-based Service (LBS). This LBS offers possibilities to provide the users with information especially adapted to their needs in a mobile environment. Within the scenario, the purpose of such a service is to offer comprehensive personalised information on air quality depending on their actual location and profile. The overall objective of the scenario is to:

  • Support initiatives for informing the public on pollution or meteorological data and experts (especially in micro-climate) in collecting or accessing this data;
  • Add value to other LBS services and thus promote use of atmospheric data by providing an interface for integration of live sensor data, meteorological world and other location services for the distribution and collection of atmospheric data from dynamic locations
  • Harmonise atmospheric and air quality data depending on the user context.

Harmonisation is required because of the inherent heterogeneity in such datasets. The scenario uses the Humboldt Tools to achieve harmonisation and processing of air quality data before being served to the users. Datasets from the different data providers, i.e. communities, states, and countries are considered in the scenario use cases in order to show not only the harmonisation issues, but how these issues can be dealt with using the Humboldt Framework.

Harmonisation problems and technical solutions

Many LBS applications rely on datasets sourced from a variety of sources. These datasets are mashed up together to provide the functionality or services needed by the application users. Because of the heterogeneity in the data from all the different sources, a key issue normally faced by such service providers in the integration of these heterogeneous datasets. Thus data harmonization is a recurrent problem for these actors.

Location based services applications are typically composed of three components (1) data layer, where several data sources are integrated together (2) process layer, where several processes are used in the integration and processing of the data and (3) presentation layer where processed data is presented to the end users. Each of these levels presents unique problems that need to be sorted out before the use of the application.

At the data level problems includes the various data sources being unstructured (e.g., CSV text). Such datasets needs to be pre-processed in order to extract their meaning and create structured data. Moreover, even if the data sources are structured with well defined data model (e.g., XML-based document), data manipulations (conversion, filtering, format transformation, combination, etc.) may still be needed to integrate different data sources.

Each of the data harmonization issues encountered in the data needs to be mediated and harmonized, therefore at the processing level, LBS application providers, needs ways to be able to integrate and define the business/application process for harmonizing and serving the data to the users.

The definition choreography between the involved processes is thus crucial. The integration is done at the application layer and the composed process is developed by combining activities, generally exposed as web services. However, main problem is how to connect to remote resources. For instance, BPEL require using SOAP based services, this becomes problematic when trying to chain OGC REST services in BPEL. These limitations make it difficult to directly use these technologies for Applications. Thus, they need tools to be adapted in order to model and describe interactive processes.

Lastly, at the presentation level, users need interface that are easy to interact with. Presentation level is used to elicit user information as well as to display intermittent and final process information to the user. However what the user gets and is displayed needs to conform to user requirements.

This scenario is aimed at demonstrating how HUMBOLDT Framework tools can be applied to solve the issues outlined above.

Scenario Users and Application cases

Scenario Users

The Scenario main users are the general public who are interested and using their mobile devices to get informed about air quality. Because of the diversity of this group of users, specific needs for information and application requirements arise. These needs may range from which component of air quality information they are interested in, to the format or language that they would like that data to be presented in.

Application Case - Air Quality data provision

This use case deals with the provision and utilization of atmospheric data-especially air quality data - ambient concentrations of hazardous air pollutants, pollen, ozone, and other atmospheric constituents. Using a mobile device, a user could retrieve the atmospheric data they are interested. The use case illustrates how users at a given location can request for harmonized air quality information, for instance, scenario users might want to know the ozone levels at a particular location. The application is targeted towards provision of data to the public and professionals interested in accessing air quality and/or meteorological information. The application case that is targeted by this scenario has been described in details in (ref see training materials).

Demonstration materials

Demo1: TEAQuILA App - AQ data provision and visualization

Demo2: TEAQuILA LBS Server- data processing chain definition