Explore air quality in the US with content from Living Atlas

05-19-2020 01:36 PM
Esri Contributor
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Air quality impacts us all. 

The air we breathe is full of particles that come from factories, cars, construction sites, and many other sources. These particles can get into our lungs and even our bloodstream to cause serious health issues. Organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NASA provide information about the air we breathe in order to provide a data-driven approach for regulations and guidelines.

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World contains a wide range of layers, maps, and stories that help communicate what air quality in the US was like in the past, and how it is currently. 

There are many different ways to explore air quality with content from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. A few of those ways are:

  • Current Air Quality
    • Air Quality Index (AQI) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and AirNow
    • "The AQI is divided into six categories. Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. Each category also has a specific color. The color makes it easy for people to quickly determine whether air quality is reaching unhealthy levels in their communities." - AirNow
    • Find all EPA layers, maps, and applications in Living Atlas by clicking here.
  • Current PM 2.5 concentrations
    • The OpenAQ Community reports recent PM 2.5 concentrations 
    • Every day activities such as driving, burning coal for electricity, wildfires, running factories, even cooking and cleaning, release particles into the air. Besides being an irritant, small particles of 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5) are a health hazard since they can get deep into the respiratory system and damage the delicate tissues.
  • Smoke Forecasts
  • Historical PM 2.5 concentrations

To learn more about air quality in the United States and the content listed above, check out this story map.

About the Author
I work as a Cartographic Product Engineer for the ArcGIS Online Content Team. I work with demographic datasets in order to create useful, understandable, and detailed demographic maps available through the online platform.