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Nov 19, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Google designs a tool to measure and reduce pollution in big cities

Google has released a new tool for measuring and analysing levels of air pollution. The Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) is now available in 33 major cities around the world. The free tool maps pollution, assesses emissions and makes suggestions to its private and professional users. 


Google recently added three European cities to the list of major urban centres where its air pollution measurement and analysis tool is in use, as reported by Futura Tech. Dublin, Manchester and Birmingham have joined 25 North American cities, three South American conurbations and Kyoto and Melbourne as places where the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) can now be used. Other cities are set to follow in the near future. 


Pollution mapping 


“Expanding data access to more cities this year,” states Google on its dedicated EIE page. The tool’s sensors offer users free information on air quality in very specific geographical areas, with the data being mapped street by street. 
The EIE does more than just supply information. As Google explains, it gives users the opportunity to “explore data to take informed action”, the aim being to measure, plan and act in reducing a city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The platform can be used by both private individuals and town planning chiefs alike.  


Solar energy potential 


The EIE provides an estimate of the pollution generated by buildings or by the different modes of transport available in a specific area. It also calculates the solar production potential of all the  buildings in a certain region, “based on shade models, weather patterns, and roof size”. 
These “unique Google data sources and modeling capabilities” provide information on emission sources and suggest ways of tackling the problem. The EIE also offers recommendations that municipal teams can factor into their decision-making processes. 


Cars that measure pollution 


“By surfacing environmental information in a robust platform, we serve decision makers and solution providers, and foster new research into climate issues and solutions for cities globally,” says Google. In collecting the targeted data, the company uses cars similar to the vehicles that put Google Map’s Street View together. 
Forming part of the Air View project, the vehicles are equipped with devices that measure pollution levels. Cities wishing to take part in the initiative are required to fill out a form.  


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Cover photo credits: Google
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