How do we create our pollen risk forecasts?

From raw data to risk forecasts

Simply put, we collect data from many different sources, process and store the data, and run our calculations on top of these to give our customers risk forecasts for pollen.

Our background is from modelling, environmental technologies and programming. 

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Risk forecast for birch pollen, May 2022

How do we calculate the pollen risk levels?

Pollen levels are decided from various factors such as temperature, precipitation and the growth season, as well as local topography and vegetation. Often we will see that the pollen levels varies with altitude, the pollen season typically starts in the milder coastal areas and moves upwards in the terrain during the season.

Vegetation plays a major role, more allergenic species in one area will give higher pollen risk levels.

Pollen measurements

Airmine has purchased pollen sensors from an American company. These sensors photograph pollen grains (and other airborne particles) and use image recognition to identify different pollen species.

We use our sensors to verify and improve our risk forecasts, and to better predict the start of the pollen season. 

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Grass pollen
planteklassifisering vha satelittdata

Plant classification using satellite data

To map the vegetation, we use satellite data from ESA, Sentinel-2. We use the satellite images for plant classification, using image recognition. (You can read more in our article How to spot a birch tree from space.)

In our pollen risk forecasts, we use this classification as a parameter to estimate the level of a given pollen species in a given location.

 

We regularly adjust our models for better results

Model development is a continuous process. We test our models “back in time”, to see how well they perform and adjust parameters to improve the results.

Our risk forecasts are just that – an assumption about pollen levels in the future. Just like weather forecasts, our risk forecasts will never be completely correct, but we strive to make them as accurate and useful as possible.

We deliver pollen information in new ways

We provide pollen maps that show risk levels for local exposure to different pollen species. 

Our goal is to give our customers pollen risk forecasts that are as accurate possible, and that are useful in their everyday lives. We aim to help people allergic to pollen to better plan their daily activities, to reduce their allergic reactions.

Holmenkollstafetten - etapper og pollenrisiko
Pollen risk map for outdoor running race in Oslo, May 2023
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