Dave Rowe made an improved version of the current council air quality website, using live data and dynamic charting.

The problem

The Current Air Pollution Levels page on the Council website displays graphs of air quality recent history.  While these do plot the latest concentrations of pollutants, they have some usability issues:

  1. Values have no explanation – a user on the website will have no idea whether the graphs represent ‘good’ or ‘bad’ air quality.
  2. Location information for each monitor is represented only by name (Windsor Bridge, Guildhall etc.).  Most Bath residents will have an idea of where these are but some may not.
  3. There is no additional information for each pollutant, either in terms of what they are, or their health implications – separate pages are used to provide this.
  4. The graphs are outdated and low resolution, with no dynamic capabilities.

The solution

I created a new ‘current air pollution’ page, using an updated site template to imagine the new functionality within the Council site.  This provides graphs of each pollutant grouped by the location of each monitor.

Team Dave

  1. The graphs use colour coding to represent high and low values.  These are taken from the DEFRA ten point index guidelines, though currently colour each individual reading, rather than using the official guidelines for averages.
  2. A user can enter their own address and the monitors will be listed by distance – allowing them to see their nearest.
  3. Underneath each graph is relevant information – giving health effects, how the monitors work, and what causes the pollutant.
  4. The graphs are dynamic, allowing users to hover over each individual reading to show the time it was recorded and each reading.
  5. The code is future proofed as it accesses data sources for both the list of monitors, and the live data.  If a new monitor is added, or a monitor changes which pollutants it measures, this will be reflected on the page.

Future tasks

  1. Update the graphs to use standard averages for each pollutant.
  2. Integrate maps to show the location of each monitor.  Also show additional information based on user distance from monitors e.g. are there certain distances at which the information from a monitor is unlikely to be relevant to that resident?
  3. Integrate recommended health precautions based on latest readings.


Comments are closed.