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Major Google Air Quality Partnership May Soon Influence Home Pricing Decisions

by James F. McClister

Google-Earth-Aclima-EPA-home-price-property-value-air-quality-mapping

Technology has drastically improved the efficacy of searching for the right home. Prior to enlisting the services of an agent, buyers, who in all likelihood have a pre-established criterion for their ideal neighborhood and home, are scoping out concerns like school districts, amenities, access to those amenities (walkability) and green spaces. Soon, a project Google is involved in could be adding air quality to that list.

Last week, San Francisco-based Aclima, which designs and deploys environment sensor networks, and Google Earth Outreach announced a partnership to use Google Street View cars to map urban air quality. In its pilot program in Denver, where three Street View cars equipped with Aclima technology roamed the streets cataloging air particulates, the cars picked up measurements on a host of air pollutants known to affect human health and/or climate change, including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

“Many things affect air quality – everything from our transportation and energy choices, to green space and the weather,” said Davida Herzl, co-founder and CEO of Aclima. “With more than half the world’s population now living in cities, environmental health is becoming increasingly important to quality of life.”

Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager for Google Earth Outreach, said that she hopes the partnership will “enable more people to be aware of how our cities live and breathe, and join the dialog on how to make improvements to air quality.”

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