Filipinos excel in a lot of fields and among those are space and science.

Just recently, the country’s very-own Mobility over Air Quality Index (World MAQI) was recognized at the Earth Observation (EO) Dashboard Hackathon organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The award ceremony, which was held virtually early this August, honored World MAQI with the Global Best Use of Technology Award. The Filipino invention trumped over 4,000 other entries from 132 countries all over the globe. 

The event, which occurred from June 23 to 29, 2021, featured 233 projects aiming to solve challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing data from the EO Dashboard. The EO Dashboard is an interactive data resource that gives policymakers and the public the ability to probe the impacts of pandemic-related restrictions implemented around the world through the lens of Earth observation satellites.

When integrated into the EO Dashboard, MAQI will work by providing a representational measurement of air quality. This will be done through the fusing of mobility statistics provided by Google and air quality data from Earth Observations (NO2). The visual story produced from it can then be used to pinpoint areas of concern and to formulate strategies for environmental sustainability, climate change, and improving air quality for the betterment of human life.

The Philippine team behind this historic achievement are data analyst Dominic Vincent “Doc” Ligot from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman), data engineer Mark Neil Pascual from ACLC College, Michael Lance M. Domagas from De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila, and Arturo “Art” Caronongan III, an assistant professorial lecturer from DLSU.

This same team was also responsible for Project AEDES, a dengue case predictor mapping system that won the 2020 NASA Space Apps Challenge.

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Image credit: Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon’s Official Website