In recent years, main cities in China have been suffering from hazy weather, which is gaining great attention among the public, government managers and researchers in different areas. Many studies have been conducted on the topic of urban air quality to reveal different aspects of the air quality problem in China. This paper focuses on the visualization problem of the big air quality monitoring data of all main cities on a nationwide scale. To achieve the intuitive visualization of this data set, this study develops two novel visualization tools for multi-granularity time series visualization (timezoom.js) and a dynamic symbol declutter map mashup layer for thematic mapping (symadpative.js). With the two invented tools, we develops an interactive web map visualization application of urban air quality data of all main cities in China. This application shows us significant air pollution findings at the nationwide scale. These results give us clues for further studies on air pollutant characteristics, forecasting and control in China. As the tools are invented for general visualization purposes of geo-referenced time series data, they can be applied to other environmental monitoring data (temperature, precipitation, etc.) through some configurations.
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