The U.S has been struck this year with deadly wildfires and the north of San Francisco was no exception. Google wanted to help any way it could and the company sent employees to drive around with air-monitoring equipment. The plan was to measure the amount of smoke polluting the air. The results were not very good.
Google Earth Outreach
For those who are unfamiliar with Google Earth Outreach, it is a research unit which helps scientists and governments to use mapping technology in order to clear the air and improve public health. The research group is a decade old and it also collaborates with nonprofit groups.
The street-by-street pollution maps made by Google Earth Outreach included the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Central Valley of California.
In the past the research unit measures the air pollution from places such as Oakland, Boston, Indianapolis and more.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s tools are outdated
The tools used by Google Earth are a great help for the Environmental Protection Agency because the tools used by the later are outdated and miss the pollution on the ground. According to Google Earth Outreach’s project manager, Karin Tuxen-Bettman, the tools used by the environmental Protection Agency are so outdated they do not evaluate properly the air people breath. A great help for people would be the implementation of low-cost sensors and air-pollution monitoring vehicles, so that communities in danger can fix bad air problems. These tools are also helpful for the Government because by analyzing and further discovering areas with bad air pollution, different laws can be created and adopted so as to help those communities. Air pollution is dangerous and the cause of many health problems.