We created AirWatchBayArea.org to give residents of Richmond, CA, and Rodeo, CA, better access to data from fenceline monitors at neighboring oil refineries (Chevron and Phillips 66, respectively). The site expanded to include data from PurpleAir and other citizen-run sensors, smell reports, and user-contributed photos.
This report on Air Watch Bay Area summarizes what we learned in creating the site. Our strategies for success include
- a collaborative, interdisciplinary development process
- putting effort interpreting data--and working with community members to find new ways of looking at it
- creating accessible infrastructures for data management
When public agencies bring new data online, citizens can push them to adopt these strategies, to make sure that the data are of maximum value to the public.