European Commission EU Science Hub FAIRMODE


Forum for air quality modelling in Europe

  • EU Composite Mapping Exercise

    For registered users only, a bottom-up composition map of air quality over Europe is open for discussion:

    EU Composite Mapping Platform

    Interested members of FAIRMODE can view the results or request to participate to this exercise by registering at the Δ DELTA Benchmarking website

    How to contribute

    Members of FAIRMODE can upload their data through the European Composite Maps Database. Before uploading, you need to register as a "Database contributor".
    If you already have a username and password and your profile has been approved to upload datasets in the database, you can proceed to the dedicated section of the EC Maps database.


    One of the aims of FAIRMODE is to harmonize modelling practices and provide guidance to EU Member States (MS) on the use of models in the framework of the Air Quality Directive. A recent survey completed by the National Contact Points pointed out that modelling activities have a clear added value to the policy making process but there is still a lack of clarity in legislation and a lack of common guidance on how to apply models in support of the implementation of the Air Quality Directive.

    Over the last couple of years FAIRMODE-WG1 has focused on a QA/QC methodology (Model Quality Objectives, DELTA) and a Benchmarking process for air quality assessment. There is more and more consensus within the community on the proposed methodologies and first steps towards a CEN standardization process have been made.

    Although tackling the QA/QC problem is for sure a big step in the right direction to provide common guidance, it is not sufficient. Remaining open questions within the modelling community are for example: when is a model fit for purpose (adequate resolution, adequate assumptions…)? How best to combine modelling results with monitoring data? Providing answers to those questions is seen as the next challenge for WG1.

    Proposed Initiative

    In order to open the discussion on the questions mentioned above, FAIRMODE-WG1 proposes to initiate an activity aiming at collecting and assembling modelled air quality maps, following the work initiated in the ETC/ACM pilot study [*]. The objective is to create a bottom-up composition map of air quality over Europe. National/regional agencies or modelling teams are encouraged to provide their best available air quality map for their particular region and those maps will be compiled into an (hopefully) EU-wide bottom-up composite map. This mapping exercise will be used as common platform within FAIRMODE and as a catalyst to trigger discussions, such as:

    1 border effects which will become visible between neighbouring regions/countries,

    2 use of data assimilation or data fusion techniques to produce air quality maps,

    3 quality and consistency of underlying emission inventories,

    4 choice of an adequate spatial resolution for a particular application.

    Furthermore, the exercise can also be used to convince countries or regions that are not yet using models on a regular basis to participate in the process.

    So the objective of this exercise is in the first place capacity building. The platform will improve comparability of assessment methodologies and will make it easier to learn from each other. Therefore, the platform will be hosted in a “safe space” without any link to the formal compliance checking processes.

    However, a long term objective of the initiative is to contribute also to the e-Reporting process. Some Member States are already reporting modelling data in the official data flows and more MS are expected to do so in the future. However, also here is a clear lack of guidelines on the use of models and reporting formats. As mentioned before it is not the objective of this initiative to deliver model data for the e-Reporting process but it is obvious that FAIRMODE can prepare the ground for a possible harmonized approach and contribute to reporting guidelines.

    Contact information

    For more information or to participate in the exercise, please contact:

    WG1 - Stijn Janssen (VITO)


    The data sets included in the EU Composite Mapping Exercise remain the exclusive property of the national, regional or local data providers. All information provided via the EU Composite Mapping Platform can only be used in the context of FAIRMODE


    [*] A European compilation of national air quality maps based on modelling, Peter de Smet et al., ETC/ACM Technical Paper 2013/3