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Downloading air quality data from the SOS of IRCEL - CELINE

Project Description

Downloading air quality data from the SOS of IRCEL - CELINE, the Belgian Interregional Environment Agency (

This packages provides both a command line interface, as a python module that downloads the data as pandas DataFrames.


ircelsos is a Python package. If you have Python installed, ircelsos can easily be installed with pip:

pip install ircelsos

This will automatically install the dependency OWSlib. ircelsos supports python 2.7 and 3.3+. For python 3, OWSlib 9.0 or higher is needed.

Command line usage

Installing ircelsos will register a ircelsos command. This can be used from the command line to download data and to retrieve info about the stations and pollutants available in the SOS, using the two subcommands query and info.

Downloading data

To download data, you can use the ircelsos query command. Eg:

ircelsos query o3 -s BETN060 -p 2015-03-27T00:00:00 2015-03-27T10:00:00

This will save a csv file in the current directory.

Specifying no stations or no period, will download the data for that pollutant for all stations for the full available period.

For more details on the arguments, call ircelsos query -h.

Retrieving info

The ircelsos info command can be used to inspect available stations and pollutants. The following will give a list of all pollutants:

$ ircelsos info --pollutant

id                     | short | name                         | stations
16111 - Black Carbon   | bc    | Black Carbon                 | 25
42101 - CO             | co    | Carbon Monoxide              | 24

To get the detailed information about one pollutant, you can specify this after --pollutant. Eg:

$ ircelsos info --pollutant bc

      id = 16111 - Black Carbon
   short = bc
    name = Black Carbon
stations = 25

This pollutant is measured at the following stations:

name   | EU_code | location             | region   | type
40AB01 | BELAB01 | ANTWERPEN            | suburban | Background
40AL01 | BELAL01 | LINKEROEVER          | suburban | Background

The same can be done to get information about the stations: ircelsos info --station for a list of all stations and ircelsos info --station STATION_CODE for the detailed information of one station.

Alternatively to the command line, you can also run the same script from the ircelsos directory:

python -m ircelsos query ...

Interactive usage (pandas)

To use the packages in an interactive python session, you need an extra dependency: pandas (to install pandas, it is recommended to use a scientific python distribution like Anaconda or Canopy that includes pandas).

To download data as a pandas DataFrame, you can use the query function:

>>> import ircelsos
>>> df = ircelsos.query('no2', station=['42R801', '42R802'], utc_start='2015-11-15')
>>> df.head()
                               42R801  42R802
2015-11-24T01:00:00.000+01:00    27.0    28.5
2015-11-24T02:00:00.000+01:00    17.5    19.5
2015-11-24T03:00:00.000+01:00    16.0    16.5
2015-11-24T04:00:00.000+01:00    17.0    17.5
2015-11-24T05:00:00.000+01:00    24.0    24.5

  • Author: Joris Van den Bossche
  • License: BSD 2-clause
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