Air Quality Widget - New Improved Feed

Posted on July 28th 2015

{ widget : feed }

In order to improve the integration of our AQI widgets within external websites, we have developped a new widget API feed. Compared to the existing widget feed, this new API feed provides much more flexibility for the integration, but also many more options for customzing the widget appearance.

You can, for instance, display a tiny widget as simple as ... (move your mouse over the AQI number in order view the details), or a larger widget with details about the past 24 hours pollutants as shown on the right.

The new framework also supports templating, mutiple languages (English, Simplified and traditional Chinese, Spanish, ...) as well as possibility to do programatic integration with data based javascript callbacks.

A. Basic setup

The basic integration is simple and straight forward. You first need to add the following piece of code:
<script  type="text/javascript"  charset="utf-8">  
    (function(w,d,t,f){  w[f]=w[f]||function(c,k,n){s=w[f],k=s['k']=(s['k']||(k?('&k='+k):''));s['c']=  
    c=(c  instanceof  Array)?c:[c];s['n']=n=n||0;L=d.createElement(t),e=d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0];  
    e.parentNode.insertBefore(L,e);  };  })(  window,document,'script','_aqiFeed'  );    
Then, just add this other code to include the widget:
<span  id="city-aqi-container"></span>  
<script  type="text/javascript"  charset="utf-8">  
    _aqiFeed({  container:"city-aqi-container",  city:"beijing"  });  

The function _aqiFeed takes as argument the configuration block for the widget. The parameter container: "city-aqi-container" refers to the id of the tag in which you want to insert the widget (eg <span id='city-aqi-container'></span>), and the parameter city the name of the city for which you want to show the current Air Quality reading (eg city: "london").

B. Specifiying the Language

You can also specify the language to be used by setting the lang option. For instance, to include the widget in Chinese (as shown on the right), use the following code:
The currently supported languages are Chinese simplifed "cn", Chinese traditonal "hk", Japanese "jp", Korean "kr", Russia "ru", Spanish "es", French "fr" and Polish "pl". If not specified or set to null, English is used.

C. Specifiying the display format

It is possible to customize the text to be displayed within the widget by specifiying the display option. For instance, to display with both the textual "AQI" name as well as the update time (as shown on the widget on the left), you can use the following code:
  display:"%cityname  AQI  is  %aqi<br><small>on  %date</small>",  

The parameter display is an HTML-based string, and can contain any of the the following keywords:
  • %cityname for the name of the city (eg Beijing),
  • %aqi for the decorated AQI value (eg 58),
  • %aqiv for the undecorated (raw text) AQI value (eg 58),
  • %style for the css declaration of the decorated AQI details (eg background-color: #ffde33;color:#000000;),
  • %time for the time at which the AQI was updated (eg Wed 20:00),
  • %impact for the associated health impact (eg Good, Moderate...)
  • %attribution for the AQI data attribution ( eg Beijing Environmental Protection Monitoring Center)
  • %details for the full AQI details (the content of the popup displayed when moving the mouse over the AQI value).
Few examples:
Display ConfigurationResult

D. Programatic callback

If you prefer DIY integration, can you can also specify a javascript function callback to be when the data is loaded.
Just add the option callback in the parameter block, such as for instance:
_aqiFeed({  city:"beijing",  callback:function(aqi){  
  /*  Do  whatever  you  want  with  the  AQI  object  */  
}  });

For instance, assuming that you are also using jquery, the following code:
<div  id='my-container'></div>  
<script  type="text/javascript"  charset="utf-8">  
_aqiFeed({  city:"beijing",  lang:"pl",  callback:function(aqi){  
}  });  
will produce the following content:

The aqi objects contains all the keywords mentionned in the section C (display format).

E. Including multiple widgets

Including multiple widgets in a single page is possible. All you need is to pass to the _aqiFeed function an array with all the widgets you need to include. For instance, to insert London, Paris and New York, can do use this code:
var  cities  =  ["london",  "newyork",  "seoul",  "guangzhou",  "tokyo",  "shanghai",  "paris","hongkong"];  
var  aqiWidgetConfig  =  [];    
cities.forEach(function(city)  {  aqiWidgetConfig.push({city:city,  callback:  displayCity});  });  
function  displayCity(aqi)  {  
The result is:

F. Feed usage

This widget feed is provided for free, and for the sole purpose of integrating the feed into other websites (i.e. apps are excluded), and under the condition of reasonable and acceptable use. We reserve the right to change the feed structure (data format) at any time and without prior notice, so better to contact us if you plan to do a custom integration.

When doing the integration, there are few deontological rules which should be applied when using the data feed:
  • First, always make sure that the attribution to the originating EPA is present. All the Air Quality data you can find on the World Air Quality Index project is thanks to the hard work from all the EPA's all over the world, so please make sure to provide the attribution for their work too. If you use the programtic API, the attribution is available from the attribution field.

  • If you are from an instution and usign the data, please, show respect and pay back the credits for our work. If you are trying to scrape the data feed, please, keep in mind that this project relies on sponsorship and cooperation projects, so consider supporting us rather than scrapping us, especially if you are a large scale institution or university.

  • As a matter of fact, do not act like the WRI (World Resource Institute ): Scrapping the overall World Air Quality Index project data feed, and beeing so cheap that they would not even give any attribution for our work, and this despite their 80 millions annual USD fundings. Don't believe us? Check this snapshot.

G. Future improvments

This is the first version of this new widget feed API. There are quite a few improvments already in the pipeline, such as adjustable graphic width and height, selectable AQI scale, etc. If you would like to suggest any other specifc improvment, feel free to send us a message.

Click here to see all the FAQ entries
  • Nitrogen Dioxyde (NO2) in our atmosphere
  • Ozone AQI Scale update
  • Kriging Interpolation

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    About the Air Quality and Pollution Measurement:

    About the Air Quality Levels

    AQIAir Pollution LevelHealth ImplicationsCautionary Statement (for PM2.5)
    0 - 50GoodAir quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no riskNone
    51 -100ModerateAir quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
    101-150Unhealthy for Sensitive GroupsMembers of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
    151-200UnhealthyEveryone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effectsActive children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion
    201-300Very UnhealthyHealth warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.
    300+HazardousHealth alert: everyone may experience more serious health effectsEveryone should avoid all outdoor exertion

    To know more about Air Quality and Pollution, check the wikipedia Air Quality topic or the airnow guide to Air Quality and Your Health.

    For very useful health advices of Beijing Doctor Richard Saint Cyr MD, check blog.

    Usage Notice: All the Air Quality data are unvalidated at the time of publication, and due to quality assurance these data may be amended, without notice, at any time. The World Air Quality Index project has exercised all reasonable skill and care in compiling the contents of this information and under no circumstances will the World Air Quality Index project team or its agents be liable in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss, injury or damage arising directly or indirectly from the supply of this data.


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