Shanghai Air Quality Index Widget (from US Embassy data)

I live in Shanghai and air pollution is a major concern, especially in institutions such as schools or hospitals. It is important to give proper directives to children and elder: when the air pollution reaches a certain threshold, they should stay inside as much as possible and avoid any form of physical exercise outside.

There are mainly two indices for air quality in Shanghai: the Chinese government's data and the official website of the US Consulate in Shanghai. The latter is based on an RSS feed updated every hour.

In order to facilitate the display and comprehension of the data from that RSS feed, I have designed a widget (running under Windows XP/Vista/7/8) that is meant to display Shanghai's air quality index in real time - again, based on official data from the US Embassy. The widget was designed to be ran on display monitors that stay on 24/7, so it displays at the topmost - it always shows on top regardless of other windows. The data is automatically refreshed every hour with a timer. If you start the widget at 8:05am, it will refresh the data at 8:05am, 9:05am, 10:05am, and so on.

If you are interested in the widget, you can download it from this link. Warning: this application requires the .NET Framework 4.5 to be installed on your machine. It won't run without it!

You may also download the source code here (developped with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop).


Jérémie Bertrand said...

Why use the .Net framework 4.5?
In order to be easily installable you should use the .Net framework 2.0, no?

Clement said...

Made in WPF... :)
I installed VS2012 express, started my project, finished programming it, then realized it was for Framework 4.5. The code should be compatible with .NET platforms from framework 3.0 though...

Jérémie Bertrand said...

Yeah, it's happening to me frequently too :p

Clement said...

In case anyone is using this: the US embassy is no longer updating the data source, for some reason. Hopefully they will resume soon!

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