Impacts of COVID-19 as Seen Using Big Data from Space (Space4Good)

As part of the Humanity Hub’s first seasonal programming theme, focusing on COVID responses, we will share insights by members of the Humanity Hub community and the Hague Peace & Justice ecosystem. This week, we are spotlighting Space4Good‘s insights on the impact of COVID-19 as observed from space.

With the slowing of human mobility – and as a result, economic activity – across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution has declined significantly in several countries.

Space4Good has teamed up with the World Bank to assess local air quality indicators (AQI). In many cases, these are a mainstay in many people’s lives – checking the local AQI levels on their smartphones just as they would check the weather. The measurement of one of the air quality components – nitrogen dioxide, or NO2 – is seeing a paradigm shift in real-time data measurement through remote sensing.

While NO2 satellite measures have been discussed widely during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much that can be done to make this information more accessible and meaningful to local citizens and policy- and decision-makers across the world.