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Defra's Air Quality Spatial Object Register (Beta release)

Defra's Air Quality Spatial Object Register is a resource for viewing and retrieving information on the air quality related spatial and non-spatial data objects from the UK's Air Quality e-Reporting data holdings. It is intended to act as a record of all air quality related spatial and data objects managed by Defra and the Devolved Administration and registered to an air quality spatial objects subdomain of

Air Quality e-Reporting is a European initiative designed to modernise data sharing, assessment and reporting of air quality information. It has been driven by the Air Quality Directive and is supported by the European Commission, EEA and the EIONET air quality community.

Within this reporting scheme a range of spatial and data objects (air quality monitoring networks, stations, European air quality management zones etc.) have been defined. A data model has been designed to describe their attributes. The types of spatial objects in the UK's e-Reporting data holdings include;

Each spatial object is uniquely identified with a persistent identifier using HTTP unique reference identifier (URI) notation. This identification scheme also generates a valid HTTP address for each spatial object and the Air Quality Spatial Object Register supports the dereferencing of these HTTP addresses allowing the attribute data for each object to be viewed in HTML or downloaded as XML.

A list of the latest air quality spatial objects and data objects managed by Defra and registered to, is provided via the links in the table below.

Air Quality spatial and data objects Description
Air quality Networks A collection of monitoring stations with a common purpose
Air quality monitoring Stations A facility with one or more sampling points measuring ambient air quality pollutant concentrations
Air quality monitoring Sampling Points An instrument or other device configured to measure an air quality
Air quality monitoring Sampling Point configurations The configuration of a specific analyser, sampler or other device used to measure an air quality pollutant
Air quality monitoring Samples The real world object being sampled
Air quality Models A computer model or empirical technique used to predict ambient air quality pollutant concentrations
Air quality Model configurations The configuration / parameterisation of a computer model or empirical technique used to predict ambient air quality pollutant concentrations
Air quality Assessment Regimes The package of measurement methods and models used in the UK for regulatory assessment of air quality and for information sharing to support policy development and academic research
Air quality Attainment The UK's compliance statement for all regulated pollutants with environmental objectives based on the methods set out in the assessment regimes.
Air quality management Zones Zones established to assess and manage air quality

Air Quality e-Reporting and the EIONET Air Quality Portal

The introduction of the European Commission Implementing Decision 2011/850/EU of 12 December 2011 (laying down rules for the Air Quality Directive in force as regards the reciprocal exchange of information and reporting on ambient air quality) provided an opportunity to modernise data reporting to facilitate information sharing in addition to improving data quality and reducing the administrative burden of reporting by automation. As part of the modernisation programme Air Quality e-Reporting has embraced IT standards based digital formats for reporting and the internet as the core media for reporting. This has aligned Air Quality e-Reporting with the UK's Open Data ambitions and INSPIRE obligations, the latter being an overarching pre-requisite of the modernised e-Reporting system.

The Air Quality e-Reporting programme is supported by the EIONET Air Quality Portal which provides a range of background information, guidance and resources to promote air quality information sharing in a standardised way including;

  • Information on the data model and XML schema are available from the EIONET Air Quality Portal Data model page.
  • Prescribed rules and benchmarking datasets to standardise calculation aggregated statistics are available from the EIONET Air Quality Portal Aggregation page (limited to European aggregated statistics)
  • A controlled vocabulary for air quality is described on the EIONET Air Quality Portal Code lists page.

Register maintenance

This register is managed and maintained by Ricardo Energy & Environment on behalf of Defra and the Devolved Administrations. For further information on air quality evidence and research programme that underpins this register visit


Defra's spatial objects and observational data are published under the Open Government Licence (OGL) and subject to the terms described in the "licence" or "constraints" of the OGL. Under the OGL you are free to:

  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the information
  • adapt the information
  • exploit the information commercially and non-commercially for example, by combining it with other information, or by including it in your own product or application

You must, where you do any of the above, acknowledge Defra and as the source of the information by including the following attribution statement in reports, web pages or derived data products and, where possible, provide a link to the OGL licence.

© Crown 2014 copyright Defra via, licenced under the Open Government Licence (OGL).

The data and information made available through on this website is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. Read the Crown copyright page for more information. See also