Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 124, Issue 1–3, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Mapping Carbon Monoxide Using GPS Tracked Sensors

  • Richard MiltonEmail author
  • Anthony Steed


In this paper we discuss a pilot study where we have mapped urban air pollution using mobile carbon monoxide (CO) sensors. Our objective is to use inexpensive Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to track the sensors and explore CO variations at a fine geographic scale. The critical issue in data processing is the treatment of the imprecise logs from the GPS. By using knowledge about the route and the geometry of the buildings, we are able to increase the position accuracy significantly, while at the same time showing that certain events, such as CO profiles while crossing roads, can be detected with a high degree of accuracy. Comparisons between data from our own mobile sensors and a fixed sensor site show good agreement in the vicinity of the fixed sensor, while at the same time identifying significant CO peaks within 100 m of this location. Using the mobile sensors to collect data along two of the main roads in the area, we are able to show CO variations along an urban canyon for parallel and perpendicular wind directions. Finally, a number of significant sources of CO were discovered during the course of the study, which suggest possible locations for fixed sensor sites in the future. We conclude by discussing the results in the context of the push towards large sensor networks and mobile communications. The potential for ad hoc mobile sensor networks may be very large.


Air pollution measurements Carbon monoxide Global Positioning System (GPS) Personal exposure Tracking mobile sensors Urban pollution 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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