Ways to Get Involved with OpenAQ, an Open Data, Open-Source Air Quality Platform

Jan 10, 2016 · 2 min read

Update 18 Jan 2016: We’re holding an informal meet up on OpenAQ 10 Feb evening in Washington, DC. Come join us! More info here + RSVP here.

We know it’s one thing to find an open-source, open data project you’re excited about, but it’s another to figure out the precise ways you specifically can get involved with it. So if you’re interested in lending a hand to OpenAQ, an open air quality data, open-source project or building something cool off of it, we want to make it as easy as possible.

Below is a list of a few ways to get involved, from community building to software development to scientific usages to writing data-driven pieces for the public. Feel free to reach out to us at info@openaq.org or join our slack channel, if you’ve got any questions or other ideas you’d like to share.

  • Community Building: Want to hold a workshop in your community about how to use the OpenAQ platform and to convene your local science, media, tech, art communities and anyone else who may be interested in air pollution? Perhaps you’re interested in holding a hackathon involving open air quality data? That’d be awesome — and we can help out with that! We’ve got materials from previous presentations and workshops, are happy to help brainstorm with you, and may be able to assist virtually or even in person.
  • Software Development Help: Yes, please! The thing that we get the most requests from the public is getting more data sources in. We’ve gotten requests to pull in more data from India, Slovenia, Peru and many other places around the world. You can check out ‘Issues’ related to pulling more data on our ‘openaq-fetch’ repository on GitHub. Any help in writing data fetching programs is very welcome, as is more suggestions for sources you’d like to see aggregated onto the platform. People have also been building API wrappers for specific languages (like this one for R and this one for Python), which helps make the data more easily accessible to more people. If you build something off of the platform, let us know, so we can get the word out!
  • Playing with Data & Building off of Platform: This could be writing a data-driven article for the general public, using the data for a new scientific study, making a real-time visualization or something else that no one’s dreamed up yet, except you! Need some ideas — or have one and just want to share it with the world? Check out or make your own issues in open-aq/project-ideas on GitHub. Want to brainstorm ideas or have questions on how to get data? Shoot us an email! You can check out our current geographic coverage here.

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