Getting a good grip on the haze conditions


I feel that with DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s speech this past Monday, June 17 2013, at the eGov Global Exchange event about the Singapore government going whole hog with 100% machine readable data on the data.gov.sg, was excellent. Finally, there is some sanity in government with regards to data (that has already been paid for by tax dollars) should be open and freely available.  No more discussion about “monetizing” the tax-payer-paid data. Let the public do as they please with the data.

So, it is with that as a background, that I want to see how best was can get the following done to address the haze conditions (as seen in the NASA satellite image) with the population that is at risk.

This is what we have in terms of data:

a) Data from the National Environment Agency regarding the Pollutant Standard Index and the PM2.5 values.

b) AirNow.gov US government site that gives a co-relation between the various data measurements

The NEA PSI data is only shown on the site for the current 24 hour period and nothing is shown of the previous days.  I don’t see any link on their site to look at earlier data. As such, I’ve set up a public document on Google Docs.

Now what I’d like to see is the mashing up of the data with maps and other relevant information such as construction sites where there are workers outdoors and to see how quickly we can pull in the right resources to assist.  There is already an effort underway  (also geek.sg) to make sure that those populations at risk because of lack of information and/or safety equipment like N95 masks are reached and provided for.

[Update at 7:25 pm June 22, 2013]

Looks like the NEA site is transforming in a good way.  You can get historical data now.

11 thoughts on “Getting a good grip on the haze conditions

    1. Yep, but he does not say where he got the “particle counter”. My checks show up devices that are laboratory grade ones. Perhaps he has access to one and that is great.

  1. Good on the NEA for releasing the historical data.. Just to note that it only goes back to Sep 2012, even though the drop-down boxes allow you to search up to Jan 2009!

    1. Well, I assume they don’t have the data handy to be available immediately. So, let’s give them some time to get it all organized. It is a good start anyway. BTW, I assume you are posting this anonymously as your @pacific.net.sg address will fail🙂.

      1. Yes, but still it was a simple UI issue.. oddly, some emails to that pacific.net address were still coming through recently. not sure why- i thought it had closed down..

      2. The UI is now less than ideal. The should just leave the data there and let it be trivially picked up by those who can build great UI.
        I don’t think you can depend on the @pacific.net.sg working as they’ve given up that part of the business – clueless people.

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