Pollen Index

What is the Universal Pollen Index (UPI)?

The Universal Pollen Index (UPI) is designed to offer a globally unified scale for comparing pollen levels across different areas. The index helps assess the risk of pollen exposure based on various factors for people allergic or sensitive to pollen. Based on a multilayer model, it is a representation of pollen level data that considers the concentration per plant model, many different local pollen indices (LPI) used worldwide, and the allergenicity of different plant pollen types to predict the number of pollen grains per cubic meter (grains/m3) per day.

The heatmapTiles endpoint returns heatmap tiles that can be overlaid on a basemap. Heatmap tiles display the UPI across the globe for a given plant type (TREE, GRASS, or WEED).

The index consists of six categories:

Value Color Description
0 None
1 Very Low
2 Low
3 Moderate
4 High
5 Very High

Each category is based on specific concentration levels of pollen in a particular area and their effect on the severity of allergic symptoms that are usually experienced, providing a comprehensive representation of pollen levels. By integrating the UPI, users can compare and assess pollen conditions in various locations.

For example, the following heatmap tile shows TREE pollen levels ranging from Very Low to Very High:

An example of a heatmap tile using the TREE_UPI map.

Supported plants

The Pollen API supports 3 different types of plants: Grass, Weed, and Tree. Because a plant's availability is subject to actual data source measurements and reports, Pollen API plant data may vary across locations.

The following list shows supported plant codes and their metadata:

Plant Code Display Name Type
ALDER Alder Tree
ASH Ash Tree
BIRCH Birch Tree
COTTONWOOD Cottonwood Tree
ELM Elm Tree
MAPLE Maple Tree
OLIVE Olive Tree
JUNIPER Juniper Tree
OAK Oak Tree
PINE Pine Tree
CYPRESS_PINE Cypress Pine Tree
HAZEL Hazel Tree
GRAMINALES Grasses Grass
RAGWEED Ragweed Weed
MUGWORT Mugwort Weed