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Vilnius residents can check the pollen levels in their district before heading out thanks to a new interactive map, Source: Vilnius Municipality / Sauliaus Žiūros

Vilnius gets more precise about air quality with online pollen map

Vilnius gets more precise about air quality with online pollen map

The project is the first of its kind in Lithuania

Spring is on and the trees are in bloom, which also means that the cases of pollen allergy have increased drastically. Just in time, the Municipality of Vilnius has informed of its new online interactive map, which shows both the air quality and the harmful pollen concentrations in real time in every part of the city.

The project of intelligent city lungs implemented in Vilnius became the first project implemented in Lithuania, thanks to which air pollution and quality data are updated every minute thanks to sensors installed in 34 places of the city. Up until now, Vilnius' residents could only find out the general daily and annual air pollution indicators in their city, but things have gotten a lot more detailed.

Raised awareness leads to better health

The idea to create an interactive map of Vilnius lungs to monitor the air pollution situation in the city and the pollen concentration load in real time came to the city municipality leaders in 2019.

"The aim of this project is not only to provide information about the city's air quality in its individual areas. By analyzing the obtained air pollution data, it is possible to create a healthier environment, increase the quality of life and satisfaction of Vilnius residents, and promote people's awareness,” explained Austė Noreikaitė, Environmental Data Expert of the Intelligent Solutions and Data Management Division of the company Vilniaus Planas. Her enterprise implemented the ‘intelligent urban lung’ project, as it has been referred to on the municipal website.

She added: “Thanks to the data, people allergic to pollen can start taking the allergy-suppressing drugs prescribed for them in time and avoid possible health complications.” Still, the advice is that the online map should not replace the opinion of a physician.

According to the environmental data expert, the interactive air pollution map created is not a one-day project, but a continuous project.

In the future, it is planned to depict not only the current pollen concentration on this map, but also to predict its dynamics. Sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms will provide accurate predictions of pollen concentrations over several days. Many parameters will make it possible to know how the urban environment will change, which will make it easier to manage risks and avoid crises.

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