In this month’s edition of Mapping For Good, we’ll look at a government-sponsored web mapping project that allows citizens to check and monitor the air quality in their region and across the United States. AirNow displays, among other indices, the Air Quality index over a particular city. With AirNow, users can check Air Quality Index figures over 400 cities daily. The site displays both national and regional values for ozone and particulate pollution in real-time. Additionally, visitors to the site can see nationwide forecasts each day.
About the Data
The collection of mapping and forecasting data is an amalgamation of readings from devices maintained by federal, state, local and tribal monitoring agencies. The agencies involved include the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Park Service. In order to keep its services as close to “real-time” as possible, data are displayed at the end of each hour. As stated on its website:
“This data sharing and centralization creates a one-stop source for real-time and forecast air quality data. The benefits include quality control, national reporting consistency, access to automated mapping methods, and data distribution to the public and other data systems.”
Other Services Provided by AirNow
Airnow.gov has several supplementary services and programs that complement its existing map platform:
- Flag Program: Schools, organizations and the community are informed on daily air quality conditions through the flying of colored flags.
- AirNow Tech & API: Password-protected portals that allow state and local agencies and other researchers to submit and track air quality data.
- AirNow International: A separate, international version of AirNow that allows interested countries to better manage their air quality data.
If you have questions about AirNow, please be sure to visit their website at www.airnow.gov.
For questions about Map Mavin or any of the other services we provide at Apollo Mapping, email Fletcher at [email protected] or give me a call at (970) 710-0909.