Google, in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), launched the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) in September 2018. The EIE gives cities easy access to climate-relevant data so they can make evidence-based decisions for their local areas. Currently in beta testing, the EIE uses information commonly found in Google Maps, such as building footprints, street-level imagery and historical data, and aggregates this information to a city scale. Using this information the EIE can produce information related to climate change.
In the beta there are five pilot cities: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Melbourne (Australia), Victoria (Canada), Mountain View (US) and Pittsburgh (US). Data for each of these cities are organised in three categories: building emissions, transportation emissions and energy offset potential. GCoM helped Google connect with cities to understand what data they required to reduce their emissions.
By providing information in an online platform, the EIE aims to bring “data analytics to conversations about renewable energy.” While EIE has brought this information to fruition in five cities, Google plans on launching similar datasets for thousands of cities and towns around the world.