The map on this site displays the spatial distribution of PM2.5 concentrations across British Columbia from both low-cost PurpleAir monitors and the “gold standard” Federal Equivalent Method monitors from Metro Vancouver and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (BCME). If there are discrepencies between nearby BCME and PurpleAir monitors, the BCME sensor is considered superior and should be assumed to be correct.
In 2017, several PurpleAir monitors were collocated with the BCME air quality sensor located at Plaza 400 in downtown Prince George, BC. As these collocated monitors are measuring the same air as the BCME sensor, we were able to produce a correction formula for fitting the PurpleAir sensor data to the BCME data. We then applied this formula to the PA observations to produce a corrected output for display on this map.
This project was supervised by Dr. Peter Jackson (UNBC) and consisted of three stages. Initially, 3 PurpleAir monitors were donated by PurpleAir and collocated at Plaza 400 in early 2017. In January 2018, 14 more PurpleAir monitors were purchased and collocated at Plaza 400 alongside the initial 3 installed there. Following a 6-month collocation period at Plaza400, these monitors were dispersed in a network across Prince George and elsewhere in BC. The third stage of this project began in May of 2018 and consisted primarily of building this website and producing the correction formula for the network of PurpleAir monitors.