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COVID-19 and the Edinburgh congestion charge III

The St. John’s Road air pollution data has been turned into a video and set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Waltz Of The Flowers


As part of the EVERYONE project coordinated by Stacey Hunter  the St John’s Road air pollution data, described on my previous blog pages, has been incorporated into a video (1:38 min) and set to Tchaikovsky’s music by Brendan McCarthy of Ray Interactive.


Zooming in from space during the COVID-19 crisis: the outer border shows carbon monoxide swathes (total column) as observed by the MOPITT instrument onboard the Terra satellite (blue/green colours mainly show emissions from heavily industrialised areas, e.g China, or from biomass burning, e.g. central Africa). Next the map of Scotland contours the regional nitrogen dioxide pattern, during the Covid event, as modelled by Massimo Vieno every hour on a 1km x 1km grid using the WRF Model, a next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system which incorporates advanced satellite-based data ingestion. (Whites, red and yellows reflect high emissions from road traffic, power plants and from flaring on oil platforms). Finally at the local scale: the innermost pattern plots nitrogen monoxide concentrations (monthly means for each hour of the day) measured at kerbside (Edinburgh St John’s Rd.) for the period pre-lockdown (red, orange and yellow denote high wintertime concentrations especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours). Data from NASA(Worldview)Ricardo Energy & Environment and UKCEH.


Everyone: Making data tangible through material cultures

This project sits at the intersection of craft, science and the decorative arts. As the global and local events precipitated by Covid19 override our familiar routines and preoccupations, it seems timely to use this opportunity to consider the rich stories and insights that data from space and satellites has to offer.

Everyone begins in Edinburgh, examining data sets derived from NASA Worldview and the Sentinel EO Browser, to elaborate on the impact made by the Covid19 pandemic over a 50 day period. We will translate this into a large scale woven tapestry design that tracks and maps changes in atmospheric gases, air quality, and air traffic congestion.

Everyone is a new collaboration between Dr Stacey Hunter, a design curator known for experimental formats of presentation and cultural engagement; Ben Hymers, a Tapestry Weaver interested in how traditional arts and crafts practices can be a data-driven medium; and the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre – an innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

The video will serve as a dynamic blueprint, technically known as ‘a weaving cartoon’, for the final tapestry. Also, hopefully it can promote and accelerate Edinburgh Council’s aim of introducing a low emission zone in the City Centre so reducing congestion and improving air quality for EVERYONE.

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