"As firefighters fought to control deadly wildfires north of San Francisco last month, a small unit of Alphabet Inc.’s Google had a more modest goal. It had employees driving cars around loaded with air-monitoring equipment to measure how badly the smoke was polluting the air.
The conclusion: a lot.
Google Earth Outreach is a decade-old research unit that helps nonprofit groups, scientists and governments take advantage of mapping technology to clean the air and improve public health -- or, at least, understand what the problems are.
On Tuesday [Nov. 7], the project released street-by-street pollution maps of San Francisco, Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley. Previous work measured air pollution in Oakland, and methane leaks in Boston, Indianapolis and other cities."