Researchers at MIT have been using computer vision to look at Street View and map urban change over time. Read more about it on Maps Mania. The original paper from MIT is here and a map of several US cities with their results is here. Look for white dots on the maps to see ‘before and afters’ of various locations using Street View.
Detroit has seen dramatic change, gradually falling to one third of its maximum population from 1950 to date. Unfortunately, Street View and overhead imagery only cover the most recent changes, but even so, significant changes can be seen.
Aerial imagery, Highland Park, Detroit, showing houses removed between 2002 and 2016.
For the past few years, Google’s Street View cars in some locations have not just been taking photos, but have also been measuring air quality. We first looked at this back in 2014 then again in 2016. At the time, we reported that they were measuring methane levels to help identify gas leaks. It seems that at some point they mounted more sensors and have also mapped out other pollutants, including nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and black carbon. Read more about it on Google’s blog.
The resulting maps can be found on the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) website.
A map by the EDF showing the pollution along the roads of West Oakland (near San Francisco).
A lot of factors affect the amount of pollution caused by cars, including the volume of traffic, the types of vehicles and whether or not they are typically accelerating on a given stretch of road. At Side Car has put together a list of five reasons why buying a used cars Ottawa could be a smart decision for you, check it out in the link. You can hire a detail for car services. Car detailing involves cleaning and reconditioning the interior and exterior of the car. The aim of this is to restore the paintwork by eliminating scratches or swirl marks to make the car look almost brand new like it did when you first drove it out of the shop.
Given that Street View cars are regularly travelling the streets of many parts of the world, other environmental organisations would do well to collaborate with Google on such projects. Google very early on saw that having cars driving around could have other uses, and it is commendable that they are making the data accessible.
Other countries in Africa with Street View include South Africa and Botswana, which have extensive coverage. Uganda has Street View in its capital Kampala and a few parks. Kenya and Tanzania so far only have a few game parks covered.
Today we are looking at progress made by Street View in 2016. The map below shows not just changes to Street View but also some other changes Google has made to Google maps over the course of the year. Subtle changes in the fonts results in much of the text being highlighted. In some cases labels have been moved or removed or added (usually this just means a change to what zoom level they appear at). There are also changes to the coastline of northern Greenland and more minor changes to coastlines and water bodies worldwide. Google has increased the promotion of user contributed views which resulted in blue dots being shown on the map even when zoomed out. In the past, one could only see them when zoomed in quite a long way. Sadly user contributed views still do not work in Google Earth. The blue dots are shown but you cannot view the imagery.
The map does not track updates to Street View where there was already existing Street View.
Changes to the Street View map over 2016. Blue: previously existing Street View, Red: changes to the map including Street View. Large version