Impacts of COVID-19 as Seen Using Big Data from Space

Figure 1. Nitrogen Dioxide emissions over China December through March 2020. Source: European Space Agency (ESA). Full animation available here.

Space4Good and World Bank collaborate on the Big Data NO2 Socio-Economic Observatory

With the slowing of human mobility – and as a result, economic activity – across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution has declined significantly in several countries, namely China, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom (Figure 1).

At Space4Good, we have teamed up with the World Bank to assess local air quality indicators (AQI). In many cases, these are a mainstay in many people’s lives – checking the local AQI levels on their smartphones just as they would check the weather. The measurement of one of the air quality components – nitrogen dioxide, or NO2 – is seeing a paradigm shift in real-time data measurement through remote sensing.

While NO2 satellite measures have been discussed widely during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much that can be done to make this information more accessible and meaningful to local citizens and policy- and decision-makers across the world.

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About Space4Good

Space4Good leverages earth observation and remote sensing data for meaningful geospatial insights using artificial intelligence for social and environmental impact. We help our clients to understand the benefits of earth observation, geographic information systems and big data, identify suitable solutions and develop integrated products with our team of experts. By applying our services in a broad field of sectors, we can support sustainable agriculture, (agro) forestry, renewable energy, infrastructure, social and environmental crimes, disaster management, humanitarian aid, sustainable urban/land development, as well as hydrology and water resources.

Author: EARSC

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