Google Is Mapping the Quality of Air Through the Citites

The tech giant Google is collaborating with researchers from the University of Utah to map the quality of air in the cities and help with the research.

Google Maps is making the commute, transportation and finding our way around new places easier, not to mention the street view option that can help us locate a local business or just check on our childhood neighborhood from the other side of the globe.

Now with the help of the Street View Cars from Google, the researchers at the U of U are working on a study to inform policymakers about the current state of the atmosphere and how it progresses, explained research associate Logan Mitchell:

“The atmosphere is going to be changing a lot over the next 10 years.”

Mitchell said that they are “collecting data to inform policymakers about how the progress is going. Are the things they doing effective [or] are there better ways of doing it”?

The study’s results should be available next summer.

Google is using the Street View Cars to measure the air quality and creating a map of it, thanks to Aclima’s air quality mapping platform. The Project Air View became international, starting with cities like New York and in the State of California, and spreading to London, Netherlands, and Copenhagen.

The programme manager for Google Earth Outreach Karin Tuxen Bettman stated that the company is making sure everything is accurate, as air quality measurements are quite difficult and slow. The cars are fitted with sensors that read the air quality, sampling it through an intake tube which then takes the samples to an analytics unit in the car (photo below). The data is sent to Google Cloud and Google analyses and integrates it into a map that keeps growing by the day.

Google will continue to expand the Project Air View, adding 50 more Street View Cars with the air quality mapping platform, and Tuxen-Bettman hopes that Google won’t be the only company that does this:

“We hope that we’re not the only ones in the future doing this. There are lots of different fleets: delivery fleets, waste management fleets. We’re hoping that all of these fleets which are already out there doing their daily jobs could be used as runoff platforms. All this information could then be shared.”

The information gathered will indeed be essential in changing the world for the better!

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