Winds Movin’ On Up!

  1. Final project proposal (can be a copy paste of main areas from mid-term, but make sure to update with final project goals, and as much detail as possible)

Air quality issues remain one of the most pervasive issues within the United States.  Many states with some of the largest populations, such as New York, California, and Texas, fail to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which have been put in place to reduce health outcomes from poor air quality.  Exposure to such polluted air is attributed through a confluence of factors, such as transportation to and from schools, outdoor physical activity, and a lack of knowledge regarding poor air quality days, or “Action Days”.  Chronic exposure to high particulate matter (PM), ozone, or smog can contribute to upper and lower respiratory problems, asthma, or worse, decreased lung capacity.

In order to address such gaps, it is with great pleasure that the WINDS FOR A HEALTHY CHANGE Inc. would like to unveil the BETA version of their interactive mapping tool, which aims to inform the US public regarding real-time air quality, in order to make better-informed decisions regarding their outdoor activities.  Our tool, currently in its beta phase, provides real-time information on a number of factors related to air quality such as: temperature, wind direction, wind speed and air quality indexes.  Each variable is presented with an easily understood user interface which empowers, educates, and informs our target groups.

Who We Aim to Please:

  • General Public – Our final product aims to empower the general public to make informed decisions regarding their outdoor activities.  Whereas government notifications may not be sufficient, we believe the general public can check our website daily to see current air quality conditions, wind conditions, or other factors that can aid in determining whether or not to be outside.  We at WINDS FOR A HEALTHY CHANGE Inc. believe that “Knowledge is Power”, and hope to arm the general public with the knowledge to make their own informed decisions, with the additional benefits of reducing the prevalence of upper and lower respiratory conditions nationwide.

Through such informed decisions, we hope to aid in reducing the overall incidence and prevalence of respiratory issues among the United States population.

The Winds for a Healthy Change Inc. will launch our website as a multi-faceted tool through schools around the country.  Teachers will be able to use our website in order to make informed decisions about poor air quality days and whether to allow children to play in such conditions.  We believe that teachers can educate their students regarding the severity and concern regarding air pollution, and we hope their students can bring this information home to their parents or guardians and that they will refer to our website daily when making informed decisions.  After parents and teachers realize the utility and usefulness of our product, we hope they’ll recommend our website to those they think can benefit the most from this information.  

Your Website Can Do What?!
Winds for a Healthy Change Inc. has scoured the internet in order to provide the user the most up-to-date information and technology regarding air pollution and public health.  Whereas a multitude of websites have sporadic information on  a variety of weather and air quality tools, our website combines these features together in a map that is both user-friendly and easy to understand.  A few of the features we’ve gathered are:

  • Temperature data – users have the ability to view the temperature and the weather description.
  • Wind data – users are able to see how strong the wind is as well as the wind direction.  There are three different wind strengths represented by different colored arrows and eight different arrows in which we classify wind direction.
  • Air quality data – users are able to see the concentration of particulate matter from a number of monitoring sources provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • Demographic Layers – Allows users the ability to see a variety of demographic information that may be useful to illustrate environmental justice issues.
  1. Updated wireframe and/or mockup/storyboards
    Same as before.
  2. Current development status 
  • Issues with setmap() not working-  This makes all the ArcServer layers not work, even though they work in clean maprooms.
  • Making the zip code selection options more clear (clicking and user input)
  • Clicking on locations outside of the United States now have an error message prompting the user to click again rather than having the loading bar run continuously with no end.
  • Some button calls had conflicts, so we fixed those issues and reduced the code down to what was actually necessary.
  • Buttons are sized interactively based on the AQI number.  The bigger the button the worse the AQI value.
  1. Challenges/issues you are having

Consistent Real-time Air Quality Calls – Initially, our main concern involved accessing the real-time data from the Air Now website.  This has fortunately been fixed however, our individual calls whenever we “click” on a specific location can provide information on different variables, ranging from “Particulate Matter 2.5”, “Particulate Matter 10” or “Ozone”.  The calls for the information basically retrieve the most current data (we think), and feeds that to our website, making it difficult to have just one specific pollutant to work with.  
User interface –  
This has been our problem since the beginning, and it’s still plaguing us.  We’ve decided to allow the user to use input their specific zip code at the start of opening the page, and then allow the user to search for their specific points of interest afterwards.  We’re still debating about what tools should be provided on the screen and what information should be provided in the navbar (if we’re still using the navbar).
GIS Layers –
We’re having difficult with the navbar in incorporating all of our GIS layers.  For some reason the call won’t display on the map, despite have the correct coding.  We’re not sure how to fix that.  
Styling/colors –
Though we’ve eliminated the use of the styling sheet to some extent, the Bootstrap has been somewhat of a pain to use (though it is very useful!).  We’re still trying to figure out the extent of what it can do (though very afraid of the “Customize option), but we’re slowly getting there.

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