WWW : Weather Worry Wonder
This application crafts wonder and invokes worry about the air quality in your neighborhood.
WWW : Weather Worry Wonder App features LOCAL air quality readings, PREDICTIONS based on weather, WARNINGS for prevention of toxins, and COMPARISONS of different neighborhoods
Air quality can change at different parts in Grand Rapids based on what pollutants are in the air and what the weather is like. We know what the air quality is today, but how can we forecast what it will be tomorrow? The most innovative part of the project was a discovery of a scientific research paper in Turkey where weather was used to predict future air quality. Our application is the first to connected to a weather API and forecast local air quality based upon that equation.Our team overcame many challenges and found unique solutions as we developed this application in two weeks. It was important to order priorities, and continually organize operations to act quickly to optimize results. I thrived being able to gather the research needed for the project’s success. My background in philosophy helped me to dive in and translate the chemistry, complicated mathematics into detailed technical software specifications. I enjoyed leading our team through all the phases of software development especially coding, troubleshooting, testing and then implementing enhancements.
When you enter your address, it is being triangulated using trigonometry to find the closest local air quality sensor. We are averaging around 500 rows of data pulled from SQL. That data is averaged and then converted into many different units for measurement to be run through multiple equations. Air quality is chemistry and it uses complex formulas to determine what is safe vs what is a hazard. Behind the scenes, we also locating the closest reading of a specific toxic pollutant to either ease worries or warn citizens. Finally, with a few more calculations and forecasted weather from an API, we give you next day, 3 day and 5 day predictions.
On the screen you can see your local current air quality. The house is where you are, the yellow warning symbols represent readings that were taken for a specific toxic pollutant called ethylene oxide (exposure to that pollutant over a long time can cause cancer), and the green bubbles are air quality sensors.
Big data sometimes means big problems. With millions of readings from dozens of air quality sensors, we had a special opportunity to optimize for speed and scalability using SQL hosted on Azure. As our app crashed during our live-demo, we were left waiting... wondering... worrying. However, our team was able to quickly analyze the situation and find a solution. I can't wait to continue to troubleshoot, optimizing the code, test and then implementing our enhancements on this project. Next steps - Research performance settings, DTUs, Table-Valued Parameters, and more.
This project keeps growing and our team quickly realized it was bigger than all of us. And just like all environmental issues, it is going to take the efforts of many people to solve. These are a few ideas I have for the future:
- Specific sensors for toxic pollutants around the city. With these, we can be pro-active instead reactive.
- Connect to real-time data with an API.
- Reduce the variances between sensors by using the same type and increase the number of local air quality sensors
- model Grand Rapids and launch these project other cities
We think knowledge is power. We can’t fix every pollutant in the air, but we can use technology to inform the residents of our city when air quality is dangerous. Furthermore, our App provides simple suggestions for how you can reduce your own ozone footprint to improve air quality. These suggestions include reducing driving, conserving energy, and using environmentally friendly chemicals for cleaning. Together, we can work towards a cleaner and healthier city.