'Hollandse Luchten' (Dutch Skies) is a citizens science project where we involve citizens in measuring air quality in their environment in the Province of North Holland.

The importance of a healthy living environment is becoming increasingly evident. The realization that air quality plays an important role in this is therefore rapidly growing. On the other hand, we see technology, in order to map air quality, become better and cheaper. 

In Hollandse Luchten, residents measure their own air quality with open-source sensors and learn to interpret the data. They are also given tools to improve their quality of life themselves. By strengthening the information position of residents, they are in a stronger position when talking to governments and industry. We call this approach citizen sensing.

The aim of Hollandse Luchten is to use citizen science to build a collaboration in which residents, governments, experts and the business community create knowledge together, conduct dialogue and work on a healthy physical living environment. Through various pilots, citizen measurements and events, we map the living environment of the Province of North Holland. 

Hollandse Luchten uses experimental technology and investigates the value of new sensor technology for residents of North Holland. 

Open data

This project offers an opportunity to raise awareness about air quality problems, in particular about the role of the citizen in this. Information provision on how to measure, the quality of the measurements and the interpretation and reliability of data is of great importance. The data from the measurement, combined with a growing knowledge of air quality, makes citizens a stronger interlocutor for the government, which makes for more constructive and smarter solutions.

Therefore an important part of Hollandse Luchten is making data more accessible. For instance, by organising data analysis meetings where residents, data analysts, health experts and municipalities analyse the data together. In addition, the measurements from the sensors are open data: the data is accessible for anyone to download, apply their own data analysis or visualise. The measurements can also be viewed live on the Hollandse Luchten map. 

Hollandse Luchten started as a pilot in 2018 and has developed into a citizen science network with citizens measuring the air in various locations in the Province of North Holland. Since the launch of Hollandse Luchten, Waag has contributed to setting up and maintaining both the technical and social infrastructure. Waag shares its expertise in citizen science, participation and open technology in meetings and various thematic working groups, among others.