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Mapping Air Pollution on Your Block

If we could see air pollution, would we be more proactive about combatting it?


Project Air View is bringing Google and experts from various backgrounds together to map air pollution throughout California. Initially, Google teamed up with a San Francisco-based startup, Aclima, to map air-pollution levels throughout Oakland. Their team found that pollution tends to concentrate in specific “hot spots”, and within a single block air pollution levels can vary dramatically. From these findings, researchers have created an interactive map to illustrate their findings. Project Air View is hoping to expand this research throughout California, and possibly beyond.


Google’s Street View cars are already driving around the country, and with new technology that can collect air pollution levels from the top of these cars, this project will likely scale up quickly.


While it does not provide by-the-block pollution data, the Environmental Protection Agency provides an  AirNow website which reports real-time and forecast air quality data with respect to the Air Quality Index, mostly based on ozone and PM2.5 concentrations.


As more comprehensive data on air and possibly other types of pollution are captured and viewed by millions of people, what will be the implications for real estate decision making? In the future could property-pricing take air pollution measurements into account? Would this motivate entire neighborhoods to proactively combat air pollution?


Only time will tell. Until then, read more about this topic here.

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