NEWS: Google uses Street View cars to collect pollution data

by Selena Larson
Published by CNN Tech: June 5, 2017

A new report from the Environmental Defense Fund studied air quality data on an individual block level in Oakland, a first look at granular data showing how air quality changes from street to street.

The EDF, Google Earth Outreach and researchers from the University of Texas at Austin outfitted Google (GOOG) Street View cars with environmental monitoring tools from Aclima to measure air pollution as they drove down neighborhood streets.

“We were really surprised by seeing just how variable air pollution is within our cities,” said Joshua Apte, assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the study’s coauthor.

The mobile sensors collected data every 100 feet, and found pollution levels that varied from block to block. Higher levels of pollution were found near things like cement plants, restaurants and auto body shops.

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