AirGradient Co-Location Project Protocols

by Achim Haug

Last Update: 1 June 2023

The AirGradient Co-Location Project, hereinafter referred to as the “Project”, aims to observe best practices and expects all participants to adhere to the objectives and protocols outlined in this document.

Participation in the Project and the acceptance of these protocols is completely voluntary.

All work undertaken and contributions made in support of the Project shall be without promise, expectation, or the receipt of any compensation for any contributions made and/or services rendered by the Participants, collaborators, or the public. AirGradient is grateful and appreciative of all the efforts and contributions made by the Project Participants.


Evaluate the performance of the AirGradient Open Air outdoor monitor “the Open Air Monitor” by co-locating these monitors with reference or near-reference instruments at various geographic locations, under varied climatic conditions, and particulate matter “PM” concentrations. The Open Air Monitor’s software and hardware designs are both freely available under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

Develop calibration algorithms that will enhance the accuracy of the AirGradient Open Air Monitor and demonstrate a greater degree of agreement between the data from the AirGradient Open Air Monitor and the data from the reference or near-reference air quality monitoring instruments.

Promote the standardisation of datasets shared between Parties and other participants and collate the said datasets in order to gain a better understanding of PM concentrations “PMC” across a multinational network of air quality monitors.

Encourage long-term monitoring of PMCs to support establishing and maintaining a centralised multinational PMC dataset.

Facilitate cooperation between the Participants in relation to:

The location and configuration of the Open Air Monitors, or similar, low-cost outdoor air quality monitors;

  • The planning, standardisation, transmission and the documenting of AirGradient Data, Metadata, and Reference Data (where applicable); and
  • Exchange and use the data in accordance with each respective Participants’ skills and capabilities.
  • Improve the data’s integrity by ensuring its interpretation and analysis is open and transparent.
  • Improve public access to continuous PMCs by providing reliable and trustworthy monitors.
  • Increase public air quality awareness through open data-sharing protocols.

Data Types

The data types used in the Project are:

AirGradient Data - time-stamped PMCs, temperature, and relative humidity information measured by the Open Air Monitors co-located with reference instruments. Such data is made available under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license.

Reference Data - information provided by Participants to AirGradient, such as time-stamped PMCs and auxiliary data such as meteorological data, particle composition, particle size distribution, and other pollutants, collected from reference or near-reference air quality monitoring instruments, provided such data can be made freely available to Air Gradient, other Participants and/or the public.

Metadata - such as the configuration, location, and operation of the air quality monitoring instruments, and may also include information such as the distance between an AirGradient outdoor monitor and a Reference Instrument and indicate emission sources in the nearby surroundings, provided such data does not expose security or privacy risks that may prevent its distribution.

Interpreted Data - reports, records, findings, data, specifications, drawings, products, summaries, or other similar information or anything that has been developed, prepared, or resulted from the Participant's involvement in this Project and that has been derived or aggregated from the AirGradient Data, Reference Data, and/or Metadata.

Data Sharing

Reference Data, and Metadata will be shared between the Participants via electronic means. The Data will only be accessible to Participants who agree to abide by these protocols.

AirGradient will share its interpreted Data with all Participants via electronic means whether or not they abide by these protocols. Such data is also made available under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

A Participant may, but is not obliged, to share its Interpreted Data.

The data on the said Google Drive may not be published or shared with third parties without the data provider’s prior written consent. The Participant shall appropriately acknowledge the provider of the data when using, disclosing, or publishing such data.

The Participant is not obliged to disclose or share its Reference Data, Metadata, or Interpreted Data for external publication.

Guiding Principles

Air-Gradient will act as the Project Coordinator.

The Project seeks to actively involve qualified, professional, and capable community members in an effort to better understand PMCs through the use of low-cost monitors.

The Project offers an opportunity to collect more data through public engagement and democratisation of the data which will expand the scientific knowledge of PMC.

Community members may act as contributors or participants and will play a meaningful role in the Project.

Participation may take place during one or more phases of the Project and may include; developing research questions, determining the method, collecting, and analysing data, and communicating the results.

The Project should be beneficial to all Participants. These benefits could include the publication of research findings, educational opportunities, social advantages, and personal satisfaction knowing that they have added to the body of scientific knowledge. The benefits may help conservation action, management decisions, or solve local, national, or international environmental challenges, with the ability to influence policies.

Participants must always consider the ethical and legal rights of copyright, intellectual property, data-sharing agreements, confidentiality, attribution, and the environmental impact of any of their actions or activities while participating in this Project.


The Participant may withdraw from the Project and these protocols, by giving to the other AirGradient at least 14 (fourteen) day written notice of its intent to withdraw. Upon withdrawal from the Project, any equipment loaned to the Participant for use at its respective location shall be returned to AirGradient or to the Party that owns the equipment. Air Gradient shall bear the transportation costs of the Open Air Monitors returned to it.

The withdrawing Participant may request that all the data it has shared with AirGradient must be deleted. AirGradient will issue a certificate of deletion of the Participant’s data upon written request.

In the event that the Participant fails to adhere to these protocols, AirGradient reserves the right to require such party to withdraw from the Project or AirGradient may require the Participant to enter into a more formal signed agreement, to ensure the integrity of the Project.