13 November 2017
Google has partnered with envirotech firm Aclima to measure air pollution levels in California and will map out the findings on its Earth platform. The company has taken the initiative to increase awareness about air pollution levels and help people understand the importance of protecting the environment.
Google will release hyperlocal air quality data for the regions of the San Fransisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Central Valley. Google and Aclima have mapped over 100,000 miles in 4,000 hours using Google Street View cars.
“Scientists and air quality specialists can use this information to assist local organizations, governments, and regulators in identifying opportunities to achieve greater air quality improvements and solutions,” said Google Earth Outreach program manager Karin Tucen-Bettman. “The measurements indicate that traffic-choked freeways, traffic on local streets, and weather patterns that blow pollution inland all influence the patterns of air pollution,” she continued.
Scientists who are doing research in air pollution can ask for access to all this data by filling out a form. “[W]e hope this information helps us build smarter more sustainable cities, reduce climate-changing greenhouse gases and improve air quality for healthier living,” added Tucen-Bettman.
Google had conducted a similar experiment earlier this year in Oakland, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas at Austin to order to identify areas with high pollution levels. The company had released an interactive map to reflect the most severely affected areas.