Why open data?

OpenAQ was founded on the principle that people have a right to know what they are breathing and should be able to freely access, use, reuse, and redistribute air quality data.

Benefits of open data include:

  • Innovation: When data are open, everyone – civil society, government, private sector, academia – can help solve key social challenges. Diversity of knowledge, skills and experience leads to more innovative and durable approaches. 
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Working together using and sharing open data builds trust, encourages collaboration, and facilitates knowledge sharing across boundaries.
  • Equity: Access to open data empowers marginalized communities to access evidence about disparities and advocate for equitable approaches.
  • Improved decision-making: When data are open to the public, they can make better-informed decisions that are based on actual evidence instead of preconceived ideas. 
  • Public oversight and accountability: When governments are transparent and open their data to the public, it allows for greater participation in and oversight of government affairs. With access to the data, citizens have a better idea of what officials and politicians are doing and are better able to hold them accountable, which leads to more effective and efficient government services. 
  • Reproducibility and scientific advancement: Open data support scientific advancement, by allowing for confirmation of the results of past methods. Data on open platforms can serve as a way to check the reliability and credibility of replicated scientific research and encourage new discoveries through the sharing and transparency of data. 
  • Efficiency: Open data make it easier for users to examine and put data to use rather than searching for and acquiring data.

OpenAQ harmonizes the world’s open air quality data sources into a single comprehensive and accessible open-source data platform. Our data platform empowers a global community of changemakers to solve air inequality.

OpenAQ proudly endorses the Open Data Charter principles and advocates for increased open access to air quality data.