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I'm helping record air quality while riding my bike and you can too

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Pierce 11 mos.

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rachel_ding

Private Message

Nov 2 2012 at 8:00pm #

I just picked up an air quality monitor and a GPS unit from GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution) in Garfield. You can see it in the picture below!

GASP and Google have a study where they attach this contraption to your bike and you ride around and go about your business for a week. They are trying to identify particulate matter hotspots in the city. It’s really awesome! You can sign up here:

http://gasp-pgh.org/projects/bam


rachel_ding

Private Message

Nov 2 2012 at 8:06pm #

Here’s the image! It’s a big one.

.


Anonymous

Private Message

Nov 2 2012 at 8:40pm #

Thanks for posting this. I really like GASP and what they do. They are in our corner for sure. Also, thank you for doing what you are doing. Hmm, I will have a look at their website and talk with them. My commute is pretty consistent, but I park my bike in a very bad area, so that might be a concern. I also ride at all hours. Sometimes in the middle of the night due to my odd work schedule.


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Nov 2 2012 at 9:19pm #

I sent them my contact info.


Anonymous

Private Message

Nov 2 2012 at 11:22pm #

Great Stu! I will do the same, but will have to warn them about m parking situation.


rachel_ding

Private Message

Nov 3 2012 at 3:02pm #

gg, your bike parking location shouldn’t be a big deal because the GASP folks ask that if you leave your bike outside that you bring the device in.


Pierce

Private Message

Nov 3 2012 at 3:34pm #

Read more info, a little concerned about this requirement:

“If it begins to rain, take the entire unit off the bike and take it safely indoors.”

http://gasp-pgh.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Dear-Participant.pdf


rachel_ding

Private Message

Nov 3 2012 at 4:18pm #

Yeah… it helps to have a waterproof pannier or backpack. You don’t actually have to take it “indoors.”


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Nov 3 2012 at 6:59pm #

If it rains while en route, what do I do?


rachel_ding

Private Message

Nov 3 2012 at 10:18pm #

Stu: You just stop, turn it off and remove it. Put it in your pannier for your next trip or when it stops raining.

It takes like 30 seconds to take it on and off so it’s no big deal.


buffalo buffalo

Private Message

Nov 5 2012 at 4:02pm #

Got the message today that “Currently, our monitors are all lent out, but they rotate back in and out again on a semi-weekly basis, so I can add you to the waiting list if you are interested and let you know when a monitor is available to you.”


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Nov 5 2012 at 5:20pm #

No email yet.


Anonymous

Private Message

Nov 5 2012 at 8:31pm #

Hi Everyone –

I’m currently spearheading this project at GASP (See current page of introductions thread for intro)! When you receive emails, you’ll be receiving them from me, and when you come in to attach the monitor to your bike, you’ll be interacting with me.

Attaching the monitors to each bike is a pretty individual experience, since you can probably tell from Rachel’s photo that the device is just a teeny bit bulkier and more unwieldy than, say, a CMU airbot. I love taking design mod advice from my fellow bikers, and Rachel’s unit is the first to be using pedal straps to attach to the handlebars – an upgrade (sidewaysgrade?) from our more rigid but less lockable plastic clips.

To address the raining concern – the monitor will not explode immediately upon contact with rain, but we do ask that you treat our expensive device like an expensive device. Even if you don’t have waterproof panniers, something like double-bagging the monitor in grocery bags and placing it in a backpack would be fine. I’ll leave it to you to self-assess whether or not you feel unable or unwilling to do anything in the protocol before sending in an interest form.

Thanks, Rachel, for posting this, and thanks to everyone signing up for the waiting list. Cannot wait to meet you all. Keep passing the tiny windmill fairy wand of air quality knowledge into the future!


salty

Private Message

Jan 15 2014 at 8:50pm #

Sorry for not posting about this earlier but GASP is having an open house tomorrow (Thursday Jan 16) at 5:30 pm to unveil the map they’ve created using this data. Their office is at 5135 Penn.

http://www.facebook.com/events/638057592883641

air monitor on my bike:


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Jan 19 2014 at 9:04am #

Here is the map with the combined readings.

Interactive: http://gasp-pgh.org/maps.html
Static:

GASP air samples


Pierce

Private Message

Jan 19 2014 at 10:29pm #

Are these things still non-usable in wet conditions? It would be interesting to see how the air pollution changes with precipitation

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