Health

PHIA Project: A Drop That Counts

Blue Raster is pleased to announce the debut of the Population HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Project website.

The PHIA Project, led by ICAP at Columbia University in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collects HIV information in sub-Saharan African countries through interviews and in-home HIV testing.

In 2014, UNAIDS set treatment goals for 2020:

  • 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
  • 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
  • 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

Blue Raster supports these goals through:

  • building the WordPress powered PHIA website
  • creating charts, maps and graphs for PHIA Factsheets
  • launching the PHIA Data site in the coming months (a CKAN based dataset visualization and download tool)

Zimbabwe 90-90-90 chart , created by Blue Raster

We’re glad to have the PHIA website up and running thanks to Blue Raster. We look forward to expanding this resource for HIV data as our project continues.” -Lory Frenkel, Communications Officer, PHIA Project

Visualizing Evolution of Atmospheric Deposition

Blue Raster launches the Critical Loads Mapper for the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest tool in a collection of EPA’s Global-Change-Explorer platform. This interactive web application analyzes atmospheric deposition from Nitrogen and Sulfur. Despite abundance in atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems, an excess of Nitrogen can cause significant environmental and health issues, leading to economic impacts across communities. Sulfur, when compounded to form various Sulfur Oxides, can cause health and respiratory problems, damage foliage, and create haze. Working with EPA, Blue Raster created a consolidated source of information, allowing the study of these elements within our ecosystem across a variety of models and timelines.

EPA’s Critical Loads Mapper incorporates a collection of four different respected scientific research efforts, including the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP),  the Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAQ), Total Deposition Science Committee (TDEP), and the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Each group of deposition estimates offers information on a variety of time spans, with some as early as 1851. Concentrations of these pollutants are predicted in deposition models which can help us better understand ecosystems at risk for exceedance of Nitrogen and Sulfur pollution.

In the application, you can overlay Federal lands and Wilderness areas from the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the US Forest Service. In our next release, users will be able to generate Deposition and Exceedance Profiles specific to each area.

With over 500 display options, the Critical Loads Mapper makes it easier for researchers, policy makers, and public officials to access this data, and create styled maps that can be saved, exported, or printed directly from the browser.

The Critical Loads Mapper is optimized to run at high performance, and leverages the ArcGIS Image Server for raster visualization and analysis. In addition, the application is built using Knockout, a JavaScript library that renders JSON (data) objects into html, for a simpler and more dynamic user interface experience. HTML5 Canvas, an html element, is the backbone for all of the on-the-fly printing capabilities. Each component of the application works to support the immense data being supplied while providing a user interface and user experience that is easily navigable and reliable.

TNC Story Map: Planting Healthy Air

By 2050, the majority of humanity will live in cities, towns, and other urban areas. Among the most pressing of global urban environmental challenges is air quality. In cities, the most damaging air pollutant is particulate matter (PM), but another pressing problem cities face is heat: the air is simply so hot in summer that human health is impacted. At the same time, with climate change, increasing temperatures around the world are exacerbating excess heat produced by cities and causing dangerous heat waves.

To address this concern for the future, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) investigated the effect of planting trees in urban areas. The science is clear that tree leaves play a part in removing particulate matter from the atmosphere along with many other air pollutants. Also, the shade provided by urban trees along with the transpiration of water during photosynthesis can help reduce air temperatures, while also reducing electricity needed for residential cooling. From an economic perspective, TNC found planting trees produces a significant return on investment when planted strategically in certain areas of a city.

17_trees_remove_pollution_1To determine precisely where and how much trees can help, The Nature Conservancy collected geospatial information on forest and land cover, PM2.5 pollutant concentration, and population density for 245 cities and used relationships established in the literature to estimate the scope of current and future street trees needed to make urban air healthier. The resultant report, titled “Planting Healthy Air,” advises cities on where trees offer the highest return on investment for improving public health by addressing particulate matter and excess heat.

To help visualize this data and share this story, TNC came to Blue Raster for help creating an interactive story map built on the latest Esri technology. The Planting Healthy Air story map details the project’s motivation, visualizes its geographic data and geospatial analysis, and describes a simple plan for cities to reduce pollution and temperature by planting trees. The viewer can select a section of interest or scroll through all of them, exploring and interacting with maps. Viewers can see neighborhood-level analysis in any of the 245 cities included in the report or read in-depth remarks about one of 15 focus cities.

tncstorymap_benefitsoftrees

Built on ArcGIS Online, the Planting Healthy Air story map uses Cascade, a new template designed for immersive storytelling. The story map’s interactive format allows viewers to explore the data and analysis on their own terms and get personalized information about the places that matter to them.

“Thanks to Blue Raster for all their hard work. We’re really excited about this new resource for sharing our science!”

– Misty Edgecomb, Director of Communications, Global Cities, The Nature Conservancy

Read more on this exciting project at: https://global.nature.org/content/healthyair

Clear the Air for Children: UNICEF

Blue Raster collaborated with The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help produce Clear the Air for Children: The impact of air pollution on children. In the first analysis of its kind, Blue Raster and UNICEF used satellite imagery of outdoor air pollution in combination with global demographic data to determine that 300 million children currently live in areas with toxic levels of pollution, and 2 billion live in areas where pollution levels exceed international standards. The report also highlights that many of the poorest children were especially at risk because they have little or no access to resources for treatment and protection.

Air pollution is a critical health issue to people all over the world. Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution due to their physiology: their lungs are still developing, and exposure to harmful air during this critical period can be especially detrimental, causing life-threatening diseases. A growing number of studies are even pointing to the impacts of air pollution on a cognitive development.

UNICEF has made its mission protecting and empowering children around the world. With Blue Raster’s help, UNICEF identifies the children who are most vulnerable to the dangers of air pollution and promotes a greater understanding of this issue among governments, communities, and families. Further geospatial analysis through ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online can help us pinpoint sources of pollution and create plans for reducing pollution in the future.

“With thanks to Blue Raster, we were able to do in-depth analysis to determine how many children live in areas with high levels of air pollution. Blue Raster brought professionalism and very strong technical expertise to the project, helping us to do groundbreaking work that we hope will serve as a strong base for action on air pollution – this is not just a major threat to the environment, it is also a major threat to children’s health.”

Nicholas Rees, Policy Analysis Specialist, UNICEF New York

New Analysis Tools for Greenpeace

Greenpeace Indonesia has released its latest addition: custom Fires and GLAD (Global Land Analysis & Discovery) Analysis. Users easily create generated reports on active Fires across Indonesia, powered by data from the NASA MODIS Fire Detection Satellites, updated in near real-time. They can also generate reports on GLAD Datasets, which contain 30-meter resolution Forest Loss, adding up to billions of pixels worldwide.

All the Analysis is done on the fly and includes the most up to date data possible. Analysis is available nationally for Indonesia and for selected islands or provinces, and results pinpoint exactly where the highest numbers of fires or GLAD alerts exist. Hotspots are by districts, concessions, areas of peatland, and instances within tiger and orangutan habitats.

These reports are powered by the latest technology, including the ArcGIS JavaScript API, Highcharts to animate the reports, React JS to build the library interface, and ES6.


With the new analysis tool, it’s extremely quick and easy for anyone interested in Indonesian commodities to spot potential problems as they arise. Researchers can interrogate the concession data we’ve publicly released to see which groups or companies have the highest rates of clearance or fire alerts. This can help identify long-term trends and show customers any potential problems with forest and peatland clearance in their supply chains.

-Kiki Taufik, Coordinator of Greenpeace Indonesia’s Forests Campaign

 


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