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GARP for Air Quality

We’ve built GARP as a tool for organizations to get data out in a usable format. In recent weeks our hometown of Sydney, Australia has experienced lots of bushfire (wildfire) smoke and haze. It’s the worst it’s been in my memory and is being tweeted about and commented about everywhere. Because you can’t escape the terrible air. When Richard, one of our Directors, was unable to land in Sydney due to zero visibility on Tuesday 10 December 2019 we knew we were in new territory.

I’ve been checking visibility (by looking outside!) and then looking online and at apps to see what the air quality is at as well as general weather conditions. The air looked OK yesterday (visibility was good) but the reading on the DPIE / NSW Environment site was still “Hazardous” for Sydney.

Richard in an industrial looking mask that filters out PM2.5 particles due to the smoke haze in Sydney.
Richard in a mask that filters out PM2.5 particles due to the smoke haze in Sydney.

There didn’t seem to be an API for the DPIE air quality site so we have now built one and a display of the details. As my mobile view of the “official” DPIE site is so poor (screenshot from today) we think our map may come in handy for peeps who want to add it to their home screen.

screenshot of DPIE site on a mobile device
It’s hard to read a non mobile friendly site like this! But at least at that reading I’m safe to go outside without a mask!

We know there are apps out there but the data isn’t as accessible and sometimes you just don’t want another app! And according to the Lifehacker article about reading air quality ratings, it sounds like the best source of data is DPIE (which is where our data is from).

Air Quality Index Map by Datascout International
Get a live map of the Air Quality Index in NSW by clicking through to

Go to for a map of NSW with the AQI (Air Quality Index) and Particle PM2.5 readings. Are you a developer? access the GARP AQI API here.

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