Urban Air Pollution Challenge by #ZindiWeekendz
$300 USD
Can you predict air quality in cities around the world using satellite data?
238 data scientists enrolled, 134 on the leaderboard
10 April 2020—12 April 2020
60 hours

You may have seen recent news articles stating that air quality has improved due to COVID-19. This is true for some locations, but as always the truth is a little more complicated. In parts of many African cities, air quality seems to be getting worse as more people stay at home. For this challenge we’ll be digging deeper into the data, finding ways to track air quality and how it is changing, even in places without ground-based sensors. This information will be especially useful in the face of the current crisis, since poor air quality makes a respiratory disease like COVID-19 more dangerous.

We’ve collected weather data and daily observations from the Sentinel 5P satellite tracking various pollutants in the atmosphere. Your goal is to use this information to predict PM2.5 particulate matter concentration (a common measure of air quality that normally requires ground-based sensors to measure) every day for each city. The data covers the last three months, spanning hundreds of cities across the globe.

About #ZindiWeekendz

The Zindi community is joining the fight against COVID-19! #ZindiWeekendz are virtual weekend hackathons hosted by Zindi. This series of #ZindiWeekendz throughout April and May 2020 focuses specifically on COVID-19.

In a time of lockdowns, remote work, and general uncertainty, #ZindiWeekendz offer data scientists the opportunity to continue to develop their skills while contributing to practical, open-source AI solutions to help in the battle against COVID-19.

All winning solutions will be shared as a public good on GitHub. We are committed to supporting partners implement these solutions and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to us at zindi@zindi.africa.

About World Air Quality Index

The World Air Quality Index project is a non-profit project started in 2007. Its mission is to promote air pollution awareness for citizens and provide a unified and world-wide air quality information.The project is providing transparent air quality information for more than 100 countries, covering more than 12,000 stations in 1000 major cities, via those two websites: aqicn.org and waqi.info

About Microsoft (microsoft.com)

This hackathon is sponsored by Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft). Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.