Cities of Smog

Found this in a magazine on a recent trip I took.

Cities of Smog

Cities of Smog

The five most polluted cities in the world, the four major cities that are not as polluted as you think, and the least polluted city in the world.


AirStatus accepted into Apps For The Environment


I’m happy to share that AirStatus has been accepted into the EPA’s Apps For The Environment contest. 

Check out the submission for AirStatus and let me know what you think.

Previously, AirStatus was a single landing page that reported the current air quality levels for two cities, Phoenix and San Francisco.  It worked by screen scraping the air quality reporting websites for the respective cities. Not very glamorous or reliable.

This version of AirStatus fetches data from monitoring locations in 300 cities across the country making it much easier to depend on and faster to get access to.

Sign up today.


Apps For The Environment

The EPA is launching Apps For The Environment, a contest that challenges designers, developers, and other civic-minded citizens to build useful applications on top of publicly available data sets.  The EPA has generously made a ton of data available for this challenge.

I’ve been a big proponent of these challenges ever since the very first Apps For Democracy contest.  Contestants get access to cheap publicity while cities and states get access to (potentially) very useful tools that improve the lives of their local citizens.

It’s also a relatively cheap way to experiment with your crazy ideas.

In early 2010, Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator listed seven priorities for the future for her agency, including improving air quality:

American communities face serious health and environmental challenges from air pollution. We have already proposed stronger ambient air quality standards for ozone, which will help millions of American breathe easier and live healthier. Building on that, EPA will develop a comprehensive strategy for a cleaner and more efficient power sector, with strong but achievable emission reduction goals for SO2, NOx, mercury and other air toxics. We will strengthen our ambient air quality standards for pollutants such as PM, SO2 and NO2 and will achieve additional reductions in air toxics from a range of industrial facilities. Improved monitoring, permitting and enforcement will be critical building blocks for air quality improvement.

I think there’s plenty of work to be done in several of these areas, but especially improved monitoring, so I’ve decided to participate. The contest’s submission period is from June 9th to Sept 16th.

I’m already behind schedule.

Some useful links: