Google Teams Up with Environmental Scientists to Map Gas Leaks

Google Maps Street View lets people discover any place in the world and explore it via the Web as if they were actually there. Now, the cars that take photos for Street View are using advanced sensor technology to search for gas leaks and faulty pipes in places like Staten Island, Boston, and Indianapolis. Google has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to pinpoint sources of pollution using methane sensors and data-crunching algorithms.

(Image via Shutterstock)
(Image via Shutterstock)
(Image via Shutterstock)

Google Maps Street View lets people discover any place in the world and explore it via the Web as if they were actually there. Now, the cars that take photos for Street View are using advanced sensor technology to search for gas leaks and faulty pipes in places like Staten Island, Boston, and Indianapolis. Google has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to pinpoint sources of pollution using methane sensors and data-crunching algorithms. The project will map leaks that could pose immediate health risks and search for lower level releases of methane, which has 120 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. Speaking at Techonomy 2011, former Picarro CEO Michael Woelk outlined a similar venture, while EDF President Fred Krupp previewed the ways that tech and data could one day help regulate pollution. Three years later, with help from arguably the biggest data company in the world, those visions are becoming reality.

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