VISUALIZATION OF AIR QUALITY CHANGES IN MAJOR U.S. CITIES

Haoran Yu

Abstract


This creative project attempts to collect data of the daily AQI (Air Quality Index) and major pollutants in top ten Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) of the United States of America, and visually present the trends of changing air qualities and distributions of pollutants in the past thirty-six years. Along with the visual presentation of the collective data, the project will also examine how the changing pattern relates to the development of environmental policies.

The objective of the project is to raise awareness of environmental issues. Because air quality concerns everyone, it is critical to use visuals to communicate to the public, especially non-experts. With all the downloadable data from EPA, we hope to be able to illustrate the meaning of statistics, not just to show the quantifiable amounts. This creative project is not only a static visual illustration of the air quality data, but also an interactive one that allows viewers to scroll, click, and select their areas of interests via an intuitive digital interface.

This project is an effort to bring computational methods and visual expressions into research that directly benefits the public. It is the first of its kind to visually interpret the changing patterns of the air quality of the top ten Core-Based Statistical Areas of the US. Effective visualization can help users analyze and reason about the statistics and its evidences. Accurate and straightforward statements of facts in graphic form can make stronger and more long-lasting impact. Yet, as a creative project, the imaginative interpretation can rise above and beyond the expected norms to reach fresh heights of insight and communication.


Keywords


Visual Communication; Air Quality; Interactive Data Visualization

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