You can always spot the Google Street View cars by the big, round camera on top. But now they're getting another high-tech gadget that will do more than take pictures for the Internet.
The Google developers decided to add a function that not only maps the roads we drive on, but the quality of the air we breathe.
The company is installing Aclima’s air pollution sensing platform to create a visual map of the pollution in three of California's biggest metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Central Valley.
Google's goal is clear. They just want to make a stand against air pollution and the health risk associated with it.
"Our vision is to enable individuals, communities and policy-makers to make smart decisions to improve their health and our environment. By putting street-level air quality information overlaid on Google Earth and Google Maps, we’re making it more useful and actionable. And this, we hope, will lead to cleaner air," a post by Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach on the Google Green Blog, explained.
Air pollution is linked to asthma, worsening of COPD and millions of premature deaths, as well as releasing toxins into the atmosphere that break down the ozone layer. With this information readily available, people can choose the healthiest routes possible.
We think this idea is genius, but what about you?
Should the Google Street Map cars stick to traffic or do you think it's a good idea that we start eliminating air pollutants and fighting against the causes of global warming?
Tell us what you think by leaving a note in the comments section below.