Dr. David J. Pearce

AtmoVis: Visualization of Air Quality Data

Author(s). Benjamin Powley.

Venue. MSc Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2019.

Abstract: Air quality has an adverse impact on the health of people living in areas with poor quality air. Monitoring is needed to understand the effects of poor air quality. It is difficult to compare measurements to find trends and patterns between different monitoring sites when data is contained in separate data stores. Data visualization can make analyzing air quality more effective by making the data more understandable. The purpose of this research is to design and build a prototype for visualizing spatio-temporal data from multiple sources related to air quality and to evaluate the effectiveness of the prototype against criteria by conducting a user study. The prototype web based visualization system, AtmoVis, has a windowed layout with 6 different visualizations: Heat calendar, line plot, monthly rose, site view, monthly averages and data comparison. A pilot study was performed with 11 participants and used to inform the study protocol before the main user study was performed on 20 participants who were air quality experts or experienced with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The results of the study demonstrated that the heat calendar, line plot, site view, monthly averages and monthly rose visualizations were effective for analyzing the air quality through AtmoVis. The line plot and the heat calendar were the most effective for temporal data analysis. The interactive web based interface for data exploration with a window layout, provided by AtmoVis, was an effective method for accessing air quality visualizations and inferring relationships among air quality variables at different monitoring sites. AtmoVis could potentially be extended to include other datasets in the future.