The initiative turned up “thousands” of leaks from utility pipes beneath the streets, providing officials with data on pollution “that used to be invisible,” EDF’s Fred Krupp wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
Fortunately these leaks don’t pose any immediate threat to safety, and the utilities will monitor and deal with the more serious ones. However, EDF noted that such gas “has a powerful effect on the global climate, packing up to 120 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide.”
Here is an early map that has been generated by this new data:
It’s a great idea, and hopefully it will be added to additional cars over time. There’s seemingly quite a few other pieces of data that could be useful to measure when you have an army of GPS-tracked cars driving around; weather data, road quality, etc. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes in the future.
Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.