Our first data set: Air pollution in the United States

This first data set that we’re going to explore is from The Guardian’s data blog. They have a fascinating interactive map of all the cities in the world for which they have pollution data: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2014/may/08/exposure-air-pollution-city-map

We will use just the US data. There are three columns separated by colon (‘:’) characters:
  • The city and state, separated by a comma.
  • The annual mean amounts of particulate pollution that’s 10 micrometers in diameter, measured in terms of micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) of air. This is abbreviated as PM 10.
  • The annual mean amounts of particulate pollution that’s 2.5 micrometers in diameter (even smaller), measured in the same micrograms per cubic meter of air. This is abbreviated as PM 2.5.

Here are just the first 9 lines of the data.

Aberdeen, SD :13 :8
Adrian, MI :15 :9
Akron, OH :18 :11
Albany, GA :18 :11
Albany-Lebanon, OR :14 :8
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY :13 :8
Albuquerque, NM :12 :7
Alexandria, LA :20 :12

If you want to see all of the data click on the Show button below. Once it appears, you can hide it again by clicking on the Hide button.

Aberdeen, SD :13 :8
Adrian, MI :15 :9
Akron, OH :18 :11
Albany, GA :18 :11
Albany-Lebanon, OR :14 :8
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY :13 :8
Albuquerque, NM :12 :7
Alexandria, LA :20 :12
Allegan, MI :14 :9
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ :21 :12
Altoona, PA :19 :12
Anchorage, AK :13 :8
Anderson, IN :18 :11
Ann Arbor, MI :16 :10
Appleton, WI :14 :9
Asheville, NC :15 :9
Athens, OH :14 :9
Athens, TN :15 :9
Athens-Clarke County, GA :16 :9
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA :23 :14
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ :14 :8
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC :18 :11
Augusta-Waterville, ME :14 :9
Austin-Round Rock, TX :17 :10
Bakersfield, CA :24 :15
Baltimore-Towson, MD :20 :12
Bangor, ME :12 :7
Baraboo, WI :17 :10
Baton Rouge, LA :19 :11
Bay City, MI :13 :8
Beaver Dam, WI :15 :9
Beckley, WV :14 :8
Bellingham, WA :7 :4
Bennington, VT :11 :7
Birmingham-Hoover, AL :20 :12
Bishop, CA :11 :6
Bismarck, ND :11 :6
Bloomington, IN :17 :10
Bloomington-Normal, IL :16 :9
Boise City-Nampa, ID :17 :10
Boone, NC :13 :8
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH :16 :10
Boulder, CO :12 :7
Bowling Green, KY :17 :10
Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, FL :12 :7
Brainerd, MN :8 :5
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA :7 :4
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT :16 :9
Brigham City, UT :12 :7
Brookings, SD :14 :9
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX :16 :10
Brunswick, GA :13 :8
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY :16 :9
Burlington, NC :14 :9
Burlington-South Burlington, VT :12 :7
Butte-Silver Bow, MT :19 :11
Cadillac, MI :10 :6
Cambridge, MD :13 :8
Canton-Massillon, OH :21 :12
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL :12 :7
Casper, WY :9 :5
Cedar Rapids, IA :16 :10
Champaign-Urbana, IL :16 :10
Charleston, WV :18 :11
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC :16 :10
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC :16 :10
Charlottesville, VA :13 :8
Chattanooga, TN-GA :18 :11
Cheyenne, WY :9 :6
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI :22 :13
Chico, CA :12 :7
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN :23 :14
Clarksburg, WV :16 :10
Clarksville, TN-KY :16 :10
Clearlake, CA :7 :4
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH :24 :15
Clinton, IA :18 :11
Colorado Springs, CO :12 :7
Columbia, SC :17 :10
Columbia, TN :14 :8
Columbus, GA-AL :19 :11
Columbus, OH :18 :11
Concord, NH :16 :9
Cookeville, TN :14 :9
Corning, NY :11 :7
Corpus Christi, TX :18 :11
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX :20 :12
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL :15 :9
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL :18 :11
Dayton, OH :18 :11
Decatur, AL :15 :9
Decatur, IL :17 :10
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL :11 :6
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO :14 :9
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA :15 :9
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI :21 :12
Dickinson, ND :7 :4
Dothan, AL :15 :9
Dover, DE :14 :8
Duluth, MN-WI :11 :6
Durango, CO :7 :4
Durham, NC :14 :8
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC :14 :8
Dyersburg, TN :15 :9
East Stroudsburg, PA :13 :8
Eau Claire, WI :14 :8
El Centro, CA :24 :14
El Dorado, AR :18 :11
El Paso, TX :21 :12
Elizabethtown, KY :20 :12
Elkhart-Goshen, IN :21 :12
Erie, PA :19 :11
Eugene-Springfield, OR :13 :8
Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA :11 :7
Evansville, IN-KY :19 :12
Fairbanks, AK :31 :19
Fairmont, WV :17 :10
Fargo, ND-MN :13 :8
Farmington, NM :8 :5
Fayetteville, NC :15 :9
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO :16 :10
Flagstaff, AZ :9 :5
Flint, MI :13 :8
Florence, SC :15 :9
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL :15 :9
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO :12 :7
Fort Madison-Keokuk, IA-MO :18 :11
Fort Payne, AL :15 :9
Fort Smith, AR-OK :17 :10
Fort Wayne, IN :23 :14
Fresno, CA :74 :45
Gadsden, AL :16 :10
Gainesville, FL :12 :7
Gainesville, GA :16 :9
Gettysburg, PA :18 :11
Gillette, WY :13 :8
Goldsboro, NC :21 :13
Grand Island, NE :13 :8
Grand Junction, CO :12 :7
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI :16 :10
Grants Pass, OR :12 :7
Greeley, CO :13 :8
Green Bay, WI :16 :10
Greensboro-High Point, NC :14 :9
Greenville, NC :13 :8
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC :16 :10
Grenada, MS :16 :9
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS :16 :10
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV :19 :11
Hammond, LA :15 :9
Hanford-Corcoran, CA :28 :17
Harriman, TN :22 :13
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA :20 :12
Harrisonburg, VA :15 :9
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT :14 :9
Hattiesburg, MS :18 :11
Helena, MT :16 :9
Helena-West Helena, AR :16 :9
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC :16 :10
Hilo, HI :27 :16
Hobbs, NM :13 :8
Holland-Grand Haven, MI :15 :9
Homosassa Springs, FL :11 :7
Honolulu, HI :12 :7
Hot Springs, AR :18 :11
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA :13 :8
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX :21 :13
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH :19 :11
Huntsville, AL :16 :9
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN :25 :15
Iowa City, IA :16 :10
Jackson, MS :19 :11
Jackson, TN :15 :9
Jackson, WY-ID :11 :6
Jacksonville, FL :13 :8
Jamestown-Dunkirk-Fredonia, NY :13 :8
Jasper, IN :18 :11
Johnstown, PA :19 :12
Juneau, AK :11 :6
Kahului-Wailuku, HI :11 :6
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI :17 :10
Kalispell, MT :13 :8
Kansas City, MO-KS :24 :15
Kapaa, HI :11 :7
Keene, NH :16 :10
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA :15 :9
Kinston, NC :13 :8
Klamath Falls, OR :18 :11
Knoxville, TN :18 :11
Kokomo, IN :16 :10
La Crosse, WI-MN :14 :8
Laconia, NH :11 :7
Lafayette, IN :24 :14
Lafayette, LA :18 :11
Lake Charles, LA :14 :8
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ :6 :4
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL :13 :8
Lancaster, PA :21 :13
Lansing-East Lansing, MI :14 :9
Laramie, WY :9 :6
Las Cruces, NM :25 :15
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV :20 :12
Laurel, MS :18 :11
Lawrenceburg, TN :14 :8
Lebanon, NH-VT :11 :7
Lebanon, PA :24 :14
Lewiston-Auburn, ME :13 :8
Lexington-Fayette, KY :16 :10
Lima, OH :17 :10
Lincoln, NE :14 :9
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR :19 :12
Logan, UT-ID :15 :9
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA :33 :20
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN :22 :13
Lumberton, NC :14 :9
Lynchburg, VA :13 :8
Macon, GA :19 :12
Madera, CA :27 :16
Madison, WI :16 :9
Manchester-Nashua, NH :14 :8
Marshall, MN :12 :7
Marshall, TX :17 :10
McAlester, OK :19 :11
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX :18 :11
Medford, OR :15 :9
Memphis, TN-MS-AR :17 :10
Merced, CA :18 :11
Meridian, MS :17 :10
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL :14 :8
Michigan City-La Porte, IN :16 :10
Middlesborough, KY :17 :10
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI :18 :11
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI :17 :10
Missoula, MT :21 :12
Mobile, AL :15 :9
Modesto, CA :25 :15
Monroe, LA :22 :13
Monroe, MI :16 :9
Montgomery, AL :18 :11
Morgantown, WV :15 :9
Mount Vernon, IL :14 :9
Muncie, IN :16 :10
Muscatine, IA :18 :11
Muskegon-Norton Shores, MI :15 :9
Napa, CA :23 :14
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN :17 :10
New Castle, IN :15 :9
New Haven-Milford, CT :15 :9
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA :21 :13
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA :23 :14
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI :14 :9
Nogales, AZ :16 :10
Norwich-New London, CT :13 :8
Ogden-Clearfield, UT :15 :9
Oklahoma City, OK :16 :10
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA :19 :12
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL :12 :7
Owensboro, KY :18 :11
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA :16 :10
Paducah, KY-IL :17 :10
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL :10 :6
Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH :17 :10
Pascagoula, MS :15 :9
Pendleton-Hermiston, OR :12 :7
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL :14 :8
Peoria, IL :16 :10
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD :28 :17
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ :26 :16
Pittsburgh, PA :25 :15
Pittsfield, MA :14 :9
Platteville, WI :15 :9
Pocatello, ID :15 :9
Ponca City, OK :17 :10
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME :15 :9
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA :12 :7
Portsmouth, OH :16 :10
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY :13 :8
Prescott, AZ :7 :4
Prineville, OR :14 :9
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA :18 :11
Provo-Orem, UT :14 :8
Pueblo, CO :11 :7
Quincy, IL-MO :16 :10
Raleigh-Cary, NC :16 :9
Rapid City, SD :11 :6
Reading, PA :19 :11
Red Bluff, CA :14 :8
Redding, CA :10 :6
Reno-Sparks, NV :15 :9
Richmond, VA :15 :9
Richmond-Berea, KY :15 :9
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA :34 :21
Riverton, WY :13 :8
Roanoke, VA :15 :9
Rochester, MN :13 :8
Rochester, NY :14 :9
Rock Springs, WY :13 :8
Rockford, IL :16 :9
Rocky Mount, NC :13 :8
Rome, GA :18 :11
Russellville, AR :14 :9
Rutland, VT :15 :9
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA :15 :9
Salinas, CA :10 :6
Salisbury, NC :16 :9
Salt Lake City, UT :15 :9
San Antonio, TX :14 :9
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA :24 :14
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA :16 :10
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA :16 :10
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA :16 :10
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA :14 :9
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA :10 :6
Santa Fe, NM :8 :5
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA :14 :8
Sault Ste. Marie, MI :14 :8
Savannah, GA :17 :10
Scottsbluff, NE :9 :6
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA :14 :8
Seaford, DE :14 :8
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA :16 :10
Sheridan, WY :14 :8
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA :26 :16
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ :11 :7
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD :16 :10
Sioux Falls, SD :14 :9
Somerset, KY :16 :10
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI :21 :13
Spartanburg, SC :16 :10
Spokane, WA :12 :7
Springfield, IL :16 :10
Springfield, MA :15 :9
Springfield, MO :17 :10
Springfield, OH :17 :10
St. Cloud, MN :14 :8
St. George, UT :11 :7
St. Joseph, MO-KS :20 :12
St. Louis, MO-IL :22 :13
State College, PA :19 :11
Stockton, CA :21 :12
Syracuse, NY :12 :7
Talladega-Sylacauga, AL :17 :10
Tallahassee, FL :14 :9
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL :13 :8
Terre Haute, IN :19 :12
Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR :18 :11
Thomasville-Lexington, NC :17 :10
Toledo, OH :17 :10
Topeka, KS :14 :9
Torrington, CT :9 :6
Trenton-Ewing, NJ :15 :9
Truckee-Grass Valley, CA :10 :6
Tucson, AZ :10 :6
Tulsa, OK :16 :10
Tupelo, MS :16 :10
Tuscaloosa, AL :16 :9
Ukiah, CA :12 :7
Valdosta, GA :14 :9
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA :15 :9
Vernal, UT :12 :7
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC :14 :8
Visalia-Porterville, CA :25 :15
Warner Robins, GA :16 :10
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV :19 :12
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA :16 :10
Watertown, SD :18 :11
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH :20 :12
Wenatchee, WA :17 :10
Wheeling, WV-OH :20 :12
Wichita, KS :16 :9
Wilmington, NC :14 :9
Winchester, VA-WV :16 :10
Winston-Salem, NC :15 :9
Worcester, MA :15 :9
Yakima, WA :17 :10
York-Hanover, PA :20 :12
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA :23 :14
Yuba City, CA :12 :7
Yuma, AZ :14 :9

According to the World Health Organization, 2.5 micrometer pollution is particularly deadly, because it more easily gets deep into our lungs. To give a sense of how dangerous that is, anywhere that the annual mean amount of just 5 µg/m3 (microgram per a cubic meter of air) was linked with a 13% increased risk of heart attacks.

Next Section - Reading the data