According to a current research of the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is one of the most important danger to human’s health.
A lot of traffic problems in cities could be solved when more people commuted by bicycle instead of taking the car. Cycling is also better for health, as long as air pollution on the way is not too high. Cyclists are particularly exposed to pollution, as they are often in the middle of the traffic without any protection. As the most dangerous pollutants like CO, NOx and ozone are invisible and odorless, cyclists don’t even know that they are currently in danger. With every breath, the risk for cancer and other illnesses raises and people can’t measure their exposure.
As we are passionate cycle commuters, we developed BeMap to empower cyclists, by giving them a tool to monitor air pollution along their daily commute and improve their cycling experience.
GENEVA | 25 MARCH 2014
In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.
Current pollution measurements use fixed and scarce measuring stations. By using mobile measuring units in large numbers, environmental mapping can be daily updated and very detailed. Our system aims to create a solid database on which environmental and mobility studies can be based on.
Especially in peak times, pollution varies a lot from road to road, and it might be difficult for cyclists to find a route that is clean, save and fast at the same time. As pollution is a very dynamic phenomenon that depends on wind, humidity and many other factors, it’s interesting to have a lot of measures at different times. By installing BeMap on the bikes of cycle couriers for instance, it would be possible to obtain quite a detailed environmental map covering the entire city, using only a dozen of devices. And also daily commuters would contribute a lot to our mapping.
Our vision is to create a live network of multiple BeMap devices communicating among themselves and warning other users against high pollution. This could be done with a navigation app specially designed for cyclists, taking into account our live data.
BeMap has been developed with cheap and available components, understandable code and can easily be upgraded by users. But you can also use it out-of-the-box.