Air Visibility Monitoring

Short description

This is an app developed by Sameera Poduri, Anoop Nimkar and Gaurav S. Sukhatme at University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, and measures air pollution.

It is great to see scientists use their knowledge and skills in ways that help people to understand and become engaged in how our planet is treated.

Paper describing the science and app here

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ That people that know their science use it for the public good.
+ Using the "crowd" to collect data and reflect about what's in the air.
+ Backing up the app with an explanation of how it works that require some brain to read in a time when so much is published that treats people like children.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- Only available for Android

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

> Link the pollution to the sources and the consumption resulting in the pollution.
> Also include windows to polluted cities and explain how consumption in the city you use the app in is resulting in pollution in other cities (the problem today is that much of the pollution linked to the lifestyle that most smart phone users take place somewhere else).


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


By understanding more about pollution more people can be inspired to act.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


By looking at pollution it is easy to create a situation where "end-of pipe" solutions or public pressure is created to move the pollution source rather than solve the problem.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


Not much today. But by linking pollution in different cities with production at different places interesting collaboration could emerge.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


The app in itself does not deliver that much, but showing how science can be brought to a lot of people in an easy way is brilliant.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


This is one of the weak parts with a pollution focus as it does not make people aware of the global impact of their consumption. The people in the factories of the world (like the coal cities in China) should be given this app and the consumers in the North could be informed about the possibility to support cities that are moving in the right direction.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


Heath and environment are two key trends, unfortunately NIMBY (Not in my backyard) also a trend.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


The question is not so much how fast things will happen as it is if the right thing will happen. The rich parts of the world has moved more and more of the problems to other parts of the world and claim progress.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


It builds on existing possibility, but without links to polluters, lifestyles, or the science behind

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