Week 8 Tutorial: Santa Fe Metro Stops

The Santa Fe Metro stops are an intelligent application of public policy. As we can now see from the map, the areas with higher levels of income, access to education and gender equality are all better served by public transportation. Granting greater mobility to populations in th areas that do not have the highest indices in the mentioned categories, may be a step towards better quality of life overall for the residents of Santa Fe. Finally, the search function allows residents to look at their specific points of interest most served by the proposed sites in relation to local amenities and existing metro stops. This is all possible by simply entering a zip code.

A full version of the map is available here.

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.

TESLA Update- Week 9

Progress is slow and steady right now. We have finalized almost all of our GIS layers and they are ready to be tiled! The ones that we have completed include: energy use for the years 2005-2010 and energy use by land use. The one layer that we are having difficulty with is the “percent change.” We used an excel document to calculate the average annual percent change in energy use for each EAZ, but when we try to join this data with the EAZs in ArcGIS the program shuts down. We think that the problem lies in the titles of our folders, which include spaces! Such a rookie move, but easily done!


Here are the other features we have been working on:

  1. Adding a neighborhood council boundary layer that can be toggled on/off
  2. Radius Summary –> on click or search. Features might include: 1. a pie chart showing the dominant land use of EAZs within a certain radius and/or 2.  the sum of energy use within a radius
  3. Google charts as info-windows that include a barchart for energy use over time when  the user clicks on an EAZ
  4. Simple Layout- we are still deciding the final layout. Right now, the basic electricity map will have the EAZs with 2010 electricity data. Users can click on the map and access the google charts infowindows that have electricity usage for the EAZ, electricity usage over time, and the dominant land use. This layer will have a geocoder search bar for a user to input his/her point of interest. Also, they can toggle on/off the neighborhood councils outline.
  5. Advance features- This layer will include the electricity use as toggable layers for 2005-2010. It will also allow you to filter electricity use by the dominant land use so that the user can only see the electricity use for Single-family residences or Manufacturing. Another feature will be the radius summary.

As of right now, we have not made any changes to our wireframe.

Week 8: Late Homework Assignment

After many trials and tribulations, here’s assignment 8! Many thanks to Erin for the hand holding through the tutorials.

Newly added to the course assignment is census data and charts for age, gender, race. Check it out!

Challenges: shape layer/census data I created would not show despite having layers on it/visible on whippet. Ended up using tutorial census layer. Also did not have time to fix code so only one tract is highlighted at a time.

Week 8: GeoStories Home Stretch!

Back from Israel and ready to finish our GeoStories website for the final.

As a reminder, GeoStories is a social story-mapping platform that enables users to create personal narratives around the places they’ve been and the experiences they’ve had there. The site’s simple, streamlined interface allows users to pair their personal thoughts with meaningful images or videos pulled from the media site(s) of their preference (Picasa, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), almost instantly transforming the ubiquitous digital map into a personal memoir, descriptive genealogy, historical non-fiction, or lighthearted travel journal.

Final Project goals/Wireframes:

After consultation with EY Ventures, the final product of GeoStories is looking to be more a prototype/envisioning tool of the different types (historical, adventurous, public health/urban planning tool, etc.) and capacities of stories users can create instead of previous visions of saving/editing/sharing stories on the GeoStories website. This is because finding a way around hosting a server/storage space for story content has not come to fruition. Final goals for the website Andrew stated in the last post are: 

1. Creating a “Table of Contents”: A second tab on the Story Board page, a form that consists of buttons that represent the chapters a user has created in the “Story Board” section of the site. Yoh has courteously set us on the path towards creating the necessary function. The first tab will be where the user inputs content, then after they hit ‘Publish’, it will shift to the second tab, “Table of Contents” of the newly generated story. This story can be viewed as many times before the page is refreshed, as GeoStories has no current way to save stories. 

2. Navigation Buttons Within InfoWindows: Advancement in this area requires that Issue 1 first be resolved. We hope to emulate what is seen in Penguin Books, with navigation embedded within the info windows themselves which can move from chapter to chapter. http://wetellstories.co.uk/stories/week1/. An added bonus would be to figure out how to draw the red line between chapters really slowly.

3. Saving the Story: The way to save individual stories so that they can be accessed, edited, and shared later apparently requires the use of Server-Side Scripting, which, we have been advised, is presently beyond our pay-grade. And so we search for a way to capture a story via its URL. It seems this option may not be feasible. This will be a bonus feature if we can figure it out.

4. How-To: We want to create instructions on how to use the site. Once we have our main StoryBoard page/function figured out, we’ll incorporate class suggestions in creating a tutorial for the user. A step-by-step guide to flesh out the introductory video.

5. Angling the Brand: Is their a unique way to position GeoStories so that it stands apart from its most obvious competitors (HistoryPin, TripLine); is it necessary to do so, or is the generic, stripped down nature of GeoStories an advantage? I think GeoStories simplicity can stand on its own. 

6. Library: Instead of its initial intention in being a reservoir for user stories, I hope to make quick video demonstrations similar to the intro video on different types of stories users have the potential to create (old stories of their grandparents, present day vacations/trips, public health/urban planning teaching tools, etc.). I think if we do this, it will give GeoStories a uniqueness from similar engines such as TripLine and HyperCities.

Current Status: I was away last week and Andrew was in charge of moving forward. He has been working with EY Ventures on the programming and coding. We will regroup in class Wednesday and form a game plan of individual responsibilities to make sure we reach our final goals.

Challenges/Issues: It’s been a sharp learning curve for this 2-person team. A lot of the brainwork/coding was from Yoh. Because of the unique nature of our website, we weren’t able to always work off what we learned in class and had to rely on the genius of Yoh/Erin/Ryan. We’re very grateful for that, but wish we had more tools ourselves to do more of the foundational work.

Update on the Final Project

Link to working website.

In the final project for Winds of Healthy Change we would like our users to be able to enter a zipcode of interest, which would zoom the map to that particular area and pull up proper AQI data.The AQI data would include available information on a variety of pollutants (TBD).  The user would be able to see the number from the AQI index as well as the color pertinent to that particular zipcode and refer to the legend to determine if it is safe or not to be outside and at what danger level the air is.  The  wind arrows will show on default and the size of the arrow will correspond to the wind strength.  The user can use the legend to get more information about the arrows.  The user has the ability to click anywhere on the map and a polygon for the clicked zipcode appears as well as any information available about the AQI.  Both the air quality, wind speed and direction data is in real-time which would allow the user to get more accurate information than otherwise available.  There will be a few toggleable layers, weather being one of them, and some that still need to be determined.  We have broadened our user base and now have information for users nationwide, although we anticipate our website will be more relevant to people who care about outdoor air quality such as parents, and to people who are more vulnerable to poor air quality..

Historical air quality data will also be available for the user to access, although that data availability only dates back to August 1st, 2009.This will be important if users wanted to look at patterns in air quality throughout certain years, season, or time periods.

Although we have had some progress in the development of our website the following things are still in progress:

  • Calling air quality parameters of choice both historical/real-time
  • Sizing buttons dynamically
  • Thinner wind direction icon(s)
  • Entering a custom zip code rather than clicking on the map

As our project is evolving with have encountered some new challenges but are still facing some old user interface annoyances.

  • User interface issues
    • Our team has come up with a variety of different ways to present the data (some involving a Navbar, some involving having different parts of the screen greyed out).  We’ve got the Navbar to work SOMEWHAT efficiently, but there’s still some problems with alignment and working with the container.  Another problem is that we’re unable to appropriately make the calls to grey out specific areas or provide pop-up boxes (as Yoh had proposed).  We’re working on this problem diligently.
  • Integrating Bootstrap seamlessly into our webpage
    • As I mentioned earlier, we’re trying to incorporate Bootstrap CSS into our webpage, because we enjoy the ease of design.  However, we’re finding it difficult to adjust some of the parameters according to what we’re looking for, however, we need to explore the “Customize” section in further detail.  If that doesn’t work, we will probably explore other CSS options.
  • Historical data – what metrics to choose from?
    • Another thing we’re trying to adjust is how to present the data (bar graphs) using Bootstrap on the page.  We still haven’t figured out how to make the specific call, and also, we haven’t identified which pollutants we’re going to be focusing on.  We’ll need to decide this soon before we move on.
  • Highlighting polygon with AQI color – call currently inefficient
    • The call to highlight the polygon with the AQI color is currently inefficient and redundant.  We need to think about another way to make the call, or we won’t incorporate this aspect.
  • Do not know how to call for pollutant of interest
    • We’re not sure how to make the call to get the same pollutant of interest, versus randomly getting different calls for each pollutant.  We’ll need to standardized this before proceeding.

TESLA Update Week 8


1.     Tiling-

We want to be able to have the polygons show… but we are also aware that tiling 6 years worth of EAZs could take DAYS.

Prep steps:

  • Need dominant land use data for each EAZ
  • Make sure each year’s data is attached (so that we can do a bar chart for kWh used over time)
  • Need to establish breaks/ “buckets”
  • Establish color scheme

Potential/ “Wishlist” for tiling:

  • General electricity use of LA City by EAZ (2010 data)
    • Potential hack= tile each electricity breakdown separately (ie 0-100,000kwh, 100,001-500,000 kwh, and 500,000-10,000,000 kwh) so that we can toggle the layers on/off. This requires a lot more tiling though .
    • Highest Break
    • % change (statistical analysis) per EAZ
    • Electricity use by census tract instead of EAZ (so it’s more aesthetically pleasing when zoomed out) à BUT, do we need to do highest break/% change/ land use tiled for each then????
    • Land use à tile each layer of land use (ie- commercial, residential, etc)



  • General energy use of LA City by EAZ (2010 data)
  • % change (statistical analysis) per EAZ

2.     Google Charts API

  • We want to have historical electricity use per EAZ as a bar chart
  • We want to use our radius that we created last time to create a pie chart of the dominant land use per EAZ within a specific radius (ie- for all the EAZs within 1 mile radius,  60% have a dominant land use of residential and 40% have a dominant land use of commercial) 

 3.     Reverse Geocoding

  • It would be nice to have our “click” on the map show an actual address or neighborhood (neighborhood might be above our pay grade)

 4.     New/old tab

  • Since it’s difficult (and by this we mean IMPOSSIBLE) to query info to show up/ disappear from ArcGIS, we are considering keeping the dots from our midterm  and having them in a separate tab from the arcGIS tiling layer tab. Our electricity breakdown would be the same divisions, but it just offers another way of looking at the map 




Wireframe/Sketch: Our website will closely resemble the midterm project…. the main change will be on user friendliness. We will have the basic functionalities as the “preset” map but then will also have an advanced options. Therefore, those that want to do a cursory glance of Los Angeles Electricity use will be able to do so without having to wade through a lot of other options.


Struggles: The color scheme for our tiling is a little bit tricky. We have tried a variety of options including….

Variation1: Too much green, doesn’t show electricity variation.

Variation 2: Too much beige

Variation X (we lost count): When zoomed in, this looks like the army’s new camo…. (obviously not ideal).


Stay tuned for our final tiling product and the decisions we make regarding colors!!!!

Demographic charts

Most people between the ages of 16 and 65 have access to a car and can drive. Adolescents and many of the elderly, however, cannot drive, and therefore often depend on transit to make their way around town. In addition to illustrating the population density of all age groups within each census tract in Los Angeles County, the map allows a user to click anywhere on the map to see an age profile for the tract. The map uses 2010 Census data and shows the proportion of each census tract that is less than 5 years old, 5 to 17, 18 to 21, 22 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 64, and age 65 and up. Those neighborhoods with more youth and more elderly have many residents who cannot drive because of their age, and would thus benefit from better transit access.

Here is an interactive window the the live map and a link to the full map:

Demographics indicate high potential ridership

This week I have added two demographic layers to the map. One layer shows population density by census tract: the darker the orange, the higher the density. Higher population density, of course, means more potential passengers, and the proposed Purple Line extension clearly passes through a high-density portion of central Los Angeles:

The second layer demographic layer shows the proportion of each census tract over the age of 65. Darker green tracts have a high percentage of elderly residents. Because many of the elderly cannot drive, transit access is especially important in these areas:

The interactive map is here and can be previewed in the window below: