Google now sharing Street View air quality data with scientists

Google will begin sharing with scientists the air quality data that it’s been gathering through Street View cars.

Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager at Google Earth made the announcement in a blog post, with the data initially covering measurements made between 2017 and 2018 around the San Fransisco Bay Area in the United States.

The cars have racked up 140,000 miles and 7,000 hours of driving having being equipped with Aclima’s mobile sensor platform to measure nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM 2.5, PM 10), ultrafine particulate matter (PM 0.1), and black carbon.

Scientists can request access to the data via this form.

By the end of the year, Google says they will fit 50 more Street View cars with Aclima’s technology to gather data in cities in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America.

Google’s Street View cars equipped with the Aclima sensor. Photo credit – Google Earth

In 2018, the tech giant began driving two Street View cars through London to measure air pollution, in an effort to gather and analyse millions of measurements as part of the Breathe London Project, which is currently ongoing.

Last month they announced they were partnering with the City of Amsterdam to gain insight into air pollution in the Dutch capital.

In other related news, it was announced in May that a global network of satellites will measure carbon emissions from all large power plants around the world, thanks to a $1.7m grant from Google.

WattTime, a US-based non-profit organisation, is behind the project and they hope the data will hold polluting plants accountable to environmental standards as well as helping to advance emissions reduction technologies.