On August 29, Google announced they are expanding their existing offerings with new products on the Google Maps platform. These products apply AI and machine learning together with air images and environmental data in order to share the latest information about solar energy potential, air quality and dust levels.
The Air Quality and Pollen application programming interfaces (APIs) can help companies better understand climate and environmental changes. This gives them the information they need to make informed choices, advocate for change, and build innovative experiences to help mitigate impact. They can also use the information to help their users make more informed decisions for themselves." - source article
The Air Quality API
The Air Quality API gives companies access to reliable air quality data, the ability to visualize pollution via heatmaps, and the opportunity to deliver in-depth pollutant details and recommendations to target audiences.
To account for the dynamic nature of air pollution, we combine information from multiple data sources, which include government monitoring stations, low-cost sensors, meteorological data, satellites, land cover, and live traffic information. This approach means we’re able to collect information even when one source becomes unavailable. We validate and organize several terabytes of data each hour resulting in air quality information that is reliable and specific to a location. For more information on the Air Quality API, read the detailed announcement blog post.
The Pollen API
The Pollen API provides access to current pollen information for the most common allergens worldwide. It can be used to help people limit the risks of exposure to allergenic pollen, make better informed daily decisions, and adapt to longer, more severe allergy seasons in the face of a changing climate. The API provides localized pollen count data, heatmap visualizations, detailed plant allergen information, and actionable tips for allergy-sufferers to limit exposure. The Pollen API offers data-based insights for organizations studying the connection between pollen and climate, as well as companies that want to help their users make healthier decisions.
The API is based on a model that calculates the seasonality and daily amount of pollen grains on a 1x1 km2 grid in over 65 countries worldwide, supporting an up to 5-day forecast, 3 plant types, and 15 different plant species. The model uses various inputs like land cover, climatological data, annual pollen production per plant, and more to deliver reliable output predictions of the local pollen level and exposure risk. For more information on the Pollen API, read the detailed announcement blog post.
Clean energy alternatives are essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy insecurity. To help accelerate solar adoption and deployment, Google launched the Solar API with the goal of helping solar companies give homeowners the information they need to make informed decisions about solar installation. The Solar API builds on the foundation of Project Sunroof, a personalized solar savings estimator for consumers powered by Google Earth imagery. We’ve expanded on these capabilities using artificial intelligence to provide data and insights that are more precise than publicly available LIDAR data or satellite-derived 3D models.
The Solar API has two distinct functionalities to help all kinds of solar companies address solar viability and design. Building Insights provide quick insights into solar viability, such as the amount of sunlight a building receives and the most energy efficient solar panel array. Data Layers provide detailed insights that facilitate the design of solar systems, such as the shading that may affect a system’s performance and the digital surface model of the rooftop.
Available in over 40 countries for over 320 million buildings, the Solar API helps solar companies give their customers the info they need to move forward with solar installation and contribute to a carbon-free future together. For more information on the Solar API, read the announcement blog post.
Google launched the Air Quality, Pollen & Solar APIs based on developments by Israeli startup BreezoMeter, which it acquired in September 2022 for $225 million, according to IVC. Breezometer develops technology for predicting environmental hazards related to air quality and its impact on health.
After the acquisition, BreezoMeter’s employees became part of Google’s Haifa development center to continue developing technology, which among other things would provide organizations with data about the level of air pollution, sources of pollution and recommendations for action, or sometimes if there is no need for action. Read source article