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Coming Soon to Google Maps: Street-Level Air Pollution

A new partnership with Aclima will track air quality in L.A., San Francisco, and California's Central Valley.
A Google Street View car equipped with Aclima air quality sensors, photographed in Denver in 2014.
A Google Street View car equipped with Aclima air quality sensors, photographed in Denver in 2014.Aclima

To make cities safer from air pollution, urban planners need to know exactly where the damaging particles originate and how they move through the air. A new partnership between Google and San Francisco-based air sensor company Aclima promises to collect that data and make it publicly available.

Google Street View cars equipped with Aclima mobile air sensors will map pollution at the neighborhood level in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and California’s Central Valley, Aclima CEO and co-founder Davida Herzl announced at the Clinton Global Initiative on Monday. The resulting data will appear on Google Earth Engine for scientists to examine, while everyone will be able to track environmental health where they live through street-level air pollution maps on Google Earth and Google Maps. The project is already underway in San Francisco and is set to expand in 2016.