How visualizing pollution is changing the way we use cities

Updated 6:57 AM ET, Fri February 10, 2012
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In the Air is a visualization project aimed at making Madrid's citizens more aware of pollution levels in their city. Courtesy In the Air
In the air identifies key pollutants and visualizes data on a map to update citizens on pollution levels. Courtesy In the Air
Computer-generated image of In the Air's domestic sensors and visualisers, which are currently in the design stage. Courtesy In the Air
CO2GO is the first smartphone app that allows users to calculate their carbon emissions automatically, say its makers. Courtesy SENSEable City Lab
It automatically detects the mode of transportation, tracks distance covered and, using smartphone sensors, like the accelerometer and GPS, deploys an algorithm to calculate the user's carbon emissions.
In 2009, MIT's SENSEable City Lab developed sophisticated mobile tags to follow some 3,000 pieces of rubbish through a city's waste-management system, revealing the final journey of everyday objects in a series of real-time visualizations. Courtesy SENSEable City Lab
"Trash Track" was aimed at promoting behavioral change, say the designers. If people could see the journey their plastic bottles take after they throw them away, will they think twice? Courtesy SENSEable City Lab
The Next Generation Infrastructure Lab in Bangalore has been holding gaming workshops where simulations allow planners to see how different energy choices, such as using of solar power over coal or oil, could play out in the future. Courtesy CSTEP, Bangalore
In the "Indian Electricity Game," participants examine the options for sustainable energy for electric power in India. The goal of the game is to come up with a sustainable energy mix for a five-year plan. Courtesy CSTEP, Bangalore