Indians can now tweet for air pollution data

Twitter has teamed with IndiaSpend, a local data journalism outfit, to provide the information

Indians love to discuss the weather and more recently the pollution that is on the increase in some of the country's cities. A new tool from Twitter could help people stay updated on pollution levels.

The company has teamed up with a local data journalism outfit, IndiaSpend, to launch a service that provides users in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai with updates on the pollution level in their locality if they send a tweet using the #Breathe hashtag with their location.

Users will then get a reply with a real-time update about the air quality in the area, with a visual notification of the measurement of the air quality and the possible health implications, according to a Twitter blog post.

The next phase of the program aims to take the service to other Indian cities that were  identified by the World Health Organization in December 2014 as among 20 of the most polluted cities worldwide.

At the back end of this system, launched Friday, are IndiaSpend air-quality monitoring stations. The system is designed to locate the nearest IndiaSpend air-quality monitoring station within 25 kilometers of the user. "If there isn’t a sensor within that range, you will get a tweet telling you that," IndiaSpend said in a blog post.

IndiaSpend sees potential for using Twitter to use "real-time air-quality data for machine-to-machine and applications related to the Internet of things (IoT), meaning the data can potentially be embedded in a host of devices, from refrigerators to cars."

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