Life & Technology

Google Earth Car To Identify Local Pollution Levels


There is a huge advantage of using the latest update for Google Earth, which focuses on the Street View. However, not everyone is aware about the technology behind this new update.

The Secret Behind The Great View

The expertise of Steve Silverman helped in the creation of cameras used in NASA explorers to Mars. This time, Silverman has put his expertise into good use once again as he bolted his creation to the roof of a car. Yes, a Hyundai hatchback in which the cameras were assembled on top that almost doubles the car’s height.

This is how the Street View of Google Earth has started. This technology mounted on a car-top includes a couple of cameras able to capture still HD images, which look out to either side of the car. This enables the capture of clearer, closer shots of street signs and buildings towards the image recognition algorithms of Google.

The Idea Behind Street View

In 2006, Google absorbed the idea of summarizing images from a videotape taken around the Bay Area. Thus, the cars of Google first hit the roads in order to acquire a new perspective by launching Street View the year after.

After a decade of research, Street View cars were able to snap 80 billion images in 85 countries and thousands of cities around the world. The conventional mapping data has even become more extensive. The most recent update from the maps division has led to the capture of images of a road stretch via a Street View car.

Street View Imagery Via Algorithm

The use of algorithm in decoding Street View images would be useful in locations where change are fastest, such as cities, roads, and businesses. The image-scouring algorithms of Google would also help in the translation of new imagery towards achieving greater map quality.

Mapping And Measuring Pollution

Google Earth Street View cars are using the technology to measure and map pollution around the world. This is characterized via a mechanical system by pumping in outdoor air, feeding it into the trunk, and pumping the exhaust all the way out again. This car has been used by Google Earth Outreach, equipped with mobile air quality mechanism. Researchers are looking forward to study how the system would be used in order to understand the air quality of the city.

More often than not, cities in the U.S. have insufficient number of stations that would monitor the air quality, which should have complied with the Clean Air Act and the like. For this reason, this system should also be added to Ubers, buses, Lyfts, and other vehicles that would cover a huge area of the city every single day.

This idea would show the levels of pollution in finer detail. In fact, the study shows that there were variations of black carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxide.

Moreover, the local government should use Google Earth cars to be able to identify hotspots that would require improvement or when new policies need to be implemented.


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