Google's new sustainability APIs wants to help your business get even greeners

Google Maps Solar API
(Image credit: Google)

A trio of Google Maps Platform APIs have been announced in a bid to help developers tap into up-to-date environmental information that could prove vital to public health, trade, and more.

As the world continues to reduce and eliminate global warming, the climate is changing around us and for many, it can pose a serious risk.

The mapping giant has now launched AI-assisted tools to help map solar, air quality, and pollen in a bid to guide decisions that impact climate change.

Google Maps solar, air quality, and pollen APIs

Google is overlaying its existing aerial imagery and environmental data with new AI and ML technologies to provide developers, businesses, and organizations to work with nature rather than against it.

Building on 2015’s Project Sunroof, the Solar API serves as a tool for businesses to estimate the potential solar energy that could hit panels placed on top of buildings around the world. From launch, 40 countries will be able to access the tool including the US and France.

Google’s Vice President and General Manager for Geo Sustainability, Yael Maguire, explained how factors including roof geometry, trees, and shade are considered to present potential solar concentration.

The second offering, its Air Quality API, simultaneously pulls data from government monitoring stations, meteorological data, sensors, and satellites together with live traffic information in over 100 countries to unlock real-time indicators amid events like wildfires.

Finally, the Pollen API considers specific plant geolocations with meteorological factors like wind speeds and directions to create visualizations across more than 65 countries. In the announcement, Maguire said that global warming is allowing plants to grow in new places and sufferers are being faced with new allergens.

While all of these features have been available to a lesser degree in Google Maps products, giving developers access to tap into the information via APIs has the potential to get this increasingly important information into the hands of millions more.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!