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Tag: Pollution

World Environment Day: Today and Everyday

World Environment Day is June 5th and this year’s theme is Beat Air Pollution. Air pollution comes from various sources, such as large-scale agriculture, burning of fossil fuels for household heating, emissions from cars and trucks, coal-burning power plants, etc. The United Nations is calling for people to join the Mask Challenge and pledge to take action in support of the environment. Participants of this challenge will be taking various measures to reduce pollution, such as using public transportation or riding a bike to work, composting organic food items and recycling non-organic trash.

At Blue Raster, we take pride in our projects that promote the conservation and well-being of our environment and planet. Many of our clients are working to solve some of today’s biggest conservation and environmental issues. Using the power of GIS, we can analyze, manage, and visualize data in order to target areas where conservation practices are needed to promote a healthier environment.

Blue Raster is proud to partner with:

Planting Healthy Air

We partnered with The Nature Conservancy on an investigation into the effects of planting trees in urban areas. To visualize the data, we helped create the “Planting Healthy Air” story map. It 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.

Pollution map

UNICEF

Blue Raster teamed up with UNICEF on multiple projects to analyze the hazards of air pollution 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. Additionally, ongoing geospatial analysis can help us pinpoint sources of pollution and create plans for reducing pollution in the future.

Air Pollution UNICEF

Critical Loads Mapper

The Critical Loads Mapper, built for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), helps better understand local and regional vulnerability to atmospheric pollution. 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. With over 500 display options, the Critical Loads Mapper makes it easy for researchers, policy makers, and public officials to access this data and make informed decisions.

Critical Loads

To read more about our work on environment issues, visit this filtered list of projects and blog posts.

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.