The UB OpenAQ Workshop: Results So Far

3 min readNov 23, 2015

Updated: 27 Nov 2015

Thanks to funding from the Earth Journalism Network + Internews, we conducted our first workshop that convened the science, media, and tech communities in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia this past week, Nov 18–20.

UB OpenAQ Workshop Participants.

The purpose of the meeting was to get these three sectors acquainted with the current OpenAQ platform (through group exercises like this) and with each other to brainstorm ways to use open air quality data in their respective fields.

Brainstorming. From top left, going clockwise: (a) UB OpenAQ Participant Delgerzul L. working with her group in learning to use the current iteration of the OpenAQ API platform. (b) Purevjav T. sketches an idea during the first brainstorm session on effective ways to visualize air quality data. (c) Enkhbolor G. and Altantur B. discuss how they will present their group’s ideas from the last brainstorming session for their 1-minute video. (d) On the third day, the entire group discusses the way forward for the UB OpenAQ community after the workshops conclusion and gives feedback on the workshop format for the next workshop.

A few days out of the workshop, here are some of the results so far:

  • At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants listed the main ideas/themes that had come out of the brainstorming sessions for using open air quality data. They then voted on the ones that they thought were most powerful and interesting to them. Dividing themselves up into three groups, they presented a 1 minute summary of each of the top ideas in video form. The ideas (and linked videos) were:
  1. An Air Quality Education Platform (.mp4):

2. Air Quality Educational + Notification Apps (.mp4):

3. Platform Connecting Mongolian Journalists + Scientists to Exchange Air Quality Information (.mp4):

  • A representative from the Green Nation Challenge encouraged the participants to bring these three ideas and others that have grown out of the workshop to their next event, which is focused on building and supporting social entrepreneurship in Mongolia.
  • Dulguun B. showed off the beginnings of a user-friendly interface for the worldwide community to interact with data aggregated onto the OpenAQ platform. You can check it out here. He also made map of all available geo-tagged sites currently aggregated onto the platform.
  • Journalist and environmental science student Oyungerel M. is working on two articles about open air quality data and the UB OpenAQ Workshop for an international publication and for the UB Post.

25 Nov 2015 Update: Here is Oyungerel’s article published in

27 Nov 2015 Update: Here is Oyungerel’s second article on the UB OpenAQ Workshop, featured in the UB Post:

  • A maker of a local app focused on transportation connected with the group and is now pursuing integrating open air quality data aggregated onto OpenAQ into their app.
  • The group intends to stay connected post-workshop through a public Facebook Group that Enkhjargal S. created, accessible here, as well as through the #ub slack channel, here.
  • According to our survey immediately after the workshop, several attendees have plans to build apps, connect with high school students, hold workshops for scientists + journalists, and contribute data sources to the OpenAQ platform.

We’ll be following up with the participants in the coming weeks and months to see what they’re up to. Stay tuned!

All workshop materials are shared here.




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