On June 05th, Google Maps released its first local air pollution map, targeting Oakland, and part of a bigger project which is trying to improve the nation’s air quality. Google states that such maps can help local authorities “achieve greater air quality improvements”. These solutions and also the gathering data will also be applicable in other cities as well.
Google Maps initiated its air pollution maps project back in 2015. In doing so, it also partnered with Aclima and the Environmental Defense Fund or EDF. The company is gathering air quality data thanks to its Google Street View cars. These were specifically equipped with Aclima equipment, which helps record specific elements.
Now, Google released the first local air pollution map of this large project. Targeting Oakland, CA and released by the EDF, this shows both pollution levels and their most likely source. More precisely, the map presents black carbon, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and nitric oxide (NO) levels. These are all pollutants emitted by both cars, trucks, and other such sources which can have an effect on the health and the environment.
Google’s Local Air Pollution Map Offers Block by Block Information
This first map released by the project presents block by block information on the air pollution levels. More exactly, viewers can follow street-level details which show how pollution can change from one block to the following.
Google states that this can help local communities and authorities take a particular action, according to the area’s needs. In turn, this can lead to better improvements than those generated by just general measures.
Also, this type of information can reportedly be applied to other cities as well. In trying to understand air pollution sources, their origin and levels, such maps can also distinguish patterns. This will then help implement better solutions and generally improve the local environment.
Google also states that: “With nearly 3 million measurements and 14,000 miles captured in the course of a year, this is one of the largest air quality datasets ever published.”
According to the company, it also proves the potential and the possible uses of “neighborhood-level air quality mapping”.
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