A geospatial time-aware web interface to deliver information about air pollution and exposure in a big city and its surroundings
A GIS-based web-mapping system is presented, aimed at providing specialists, stakeholders and population with a simple, while scientifically rigorous, way to obtain information about people exposure to air pollution in the city of Rome (Italy). It combines a geo-spatial visualization with easy access to time dimension and to quantitative information. The study is part of the EXPAH ( Population Exposure to PAHs) LIFE+ EC Project, which goal is to identify and quantify children and elderly people exposure to PM2.5-bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the atmosphere of Rome, and to assess the impact on human health. The core of the system is a GIS, which database contains data and results of the project research activity. They include daily indoor and outdoor ground measurements and daily maps from simulation modeling of atmospheric PAHs and PM2.5 concentration for the period June 2011-May 2012, and daily and average exposure maps. Datasets have been published as time-enabled standard OGC Web Map Services (WMS). A set of web mapping applications query the web services to produce a set of interactive and time-aware thematic maps. Finding effective ways to communicate risk for human health, and environmental determinants for it, is a topical and challenging task: the web mapping system presented is a prototype of a possible model to disseminate scientific results on these items, providing a sight into impacts of air pollution on people living and working in a big city, and shipping information about the overall exposure, its spatial pattern and levels at specific locations.