Air Quality

Clean air is critical to life on Earth, yet over 90 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air. For the past several years, Google has equipped several of our Street View vehicles with air pollution sensors in order to measure street-by-street air quality on our city streets. We’ve been working with partners and scientists around the world to make over 500 million air measurements. Our hope is that cities will be able to use this information to make more informed decisions and accelerate efforts in their transition to a healthier, more sustainable city. These measurements can make the invisible, visible, so that we can all breathe better and live healthier, and the data is available for scientists, cities, non-governmental organizations and citizens to use for research and decision support.


In Bengaluru, we partnered with Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a local think tank to measure and analyze hyperlocal air quality in Bengaluru and to make the data available to policymakers for enhanced local Air Quality monitoring and reporting through Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE). Bengaluru marks our first city project in Asia and expansion of our reach to Global South, building equitable access to air quality data for all through EIE.

CSTEP modified a custom-fit compressed natural gas car to install portable research-grade air quality monitors and used it to measure on-road concentration levels for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), Black Carbon, and Ultrafine Particle concentrations from Nov 2021 to June 2022.

Air Quality maps and data from the project were launched at an event hosted by CSTEP in July 2023, which was attended by officials and scientists from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Institutions of Repute (IORs). CSTEP continues to work with pollution authorities in Bengaluru to help them assess PM2.5 and other pollutant concentration levels for major roads and highways and to effectively identify pollution hotspots to introduce local interventions in the city, informed by EIE data.


Our most recent announcement in Europe is our scientific project with the City Science Lab of the HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) and a working group from the City of Hamburg to measure hyperlocal air quality in Hamburg, that can be used for decisions on sustainable urban and transport planning.

An electric Street View car, equipped with air sensors from our partner Aclima, mapped street-by-street air quality in central areas of Hamburg from October 2021 to December 2022, recording values ​​for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrous oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3).

In June 2023, air quality maps and data of the project were launched at an event hosted by HCU in the presence of Dr. Anjes Tjarks, Minister for Transport and Mobility Transition of the Free en Hanseatic City of Hamburg. In the coming months scientific teams will further analyze the data with the goal to derive additional insights for sustainable decisions on climate, health, transport and urban development in Hamburg.



In Dublin we collaborated with Dublin City Council as part of its Smart Dublin program, to produce hyperlocal air quality data insights to help the Irish capital gain additional knowledge and support their actions to improve the City’s climate and health. The initiative used Google’s first electric Street View car, a Jaguar I-PACE, equipped Aclima’s specialized mobile air sensing platform that can measure and analyze nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3); pollutants which at high levels are harmful to the climate and human health. Project Air View is the next phase of Dublin's partnership with Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), to inform smart transit programs with the goal of reducing emissions and increasing the use of cleaner modes of travel.


In February 2023 the results of Project Air View were released. Speaking at the launch of the data, Lord of Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy said: “Knowing the status of Dublin’s air quality and its impacts on city life and health, are very important. This project captured over 50 million air quality measurements at 5 million locations across the city with the car covering over 30,000 kms distance. Project Air View is enabling new insights into air quality across the streets of Dublin. Having these local insights is just the beginning of the journey, we now need to explore the findings and use them to help improve the lives and health of Dubliners.”

First ideas on how to put the data into action have already been developed shortly after the launch at the Air Quality Data Hack organized by the City of Dublin in collaboration with Google and Aclima. Over the course of a weekend innovative ideas, solutions, prototypes and proof of concepts have been presented unlocking the potential of granular hyperlocal city air quality data.

Find out more about the ideas here.


In 2021 we published hyperlocal air quality maps of Amsterdam resulting from a partnership with the City of Amsterdam and Utrecht University that launched in 2019.


Two Street View cars had been equipped with instruments to measure nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM 2.5, PM 10), ultrafine particulate matter (PM 0.1), and black carbon mapping the city for nine months over the period 2019/ 2020./p>

According to Roel Vermeulen, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposure Science at Utrecht University, it is crucial to have these very detailed maps of air pollution for an entire city, especially when we talk about the harmful particles that are not regulated yet, such as ultrafine particles. "They are widely spread locally, and this is the first time we can see in detail how. It will give us the opportunity to investigate what the health effects are and whether there is a need for regulation".

Find out more about the project here./p>


With the goal of gaining insights into Copenhagen’s air quality at the street level, we started mapping hyperlocal air quality in Copenhagen in 2018, working closely with the City of Copenhagen and Utrecht University, in collaboration with Aarhus University.


The street-by-street air quality map includes measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon, and ultrafine particles. One of the key insights we found was that Copenhagen’s major access roads have nearly three times more ultrafine particles and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and five times higher black carbon levels when compared to less trafficked residential areas.

Armed with these air quality insights, the City of Copenhagen uses EIE’s Project Air View data to prioritize climate actions that have immediate impact on human health. The data has helped the city to set low-emission zones, and to explore ways on how to build safe zones from pollution around schools and playgrounds in high-pollution areas - which means more children will have access to cleaner air.

Find out more about the lessons learned from the streets and how hyperlocal air quality informs city action in this blog post and Google Earth visual story.


In 2018, we announced that we are partnering with Environmental Defense Fund, Greater London Authority, C40, Air Monitors, National Physical Laboratory, Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants, and other research partners, as part of the Breathe London Project. We began driving two specially equipped Google Street View cars through the capital to measure air pollution, in an effort to gather and analyze millions of measurements over the course of 2019.


London’s hyperlocal, street-level air quality maps of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and nitrogen dioxide have been published in partnership with the Breathe London project on our Environmental Insights Explorer and are part of a section called EIE Labs, which pilots climate-focused datasets as a critical indicator for prioritizing and tracking climate action.

In addition, a case story of the London project has been published here.


In 2018, we partnered with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), along with researchers from Rice University and Sonoma Technology, and drove two Google Street View cars outfitted with a suite of air monitoring equipment around Houston neighborhoods from July 2017 through March 2018. This project in Houston brought a more diverse mix of pollutants and a combination of commercial and industrial activity with residential areas.


In 2017, with our partners at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Aclima, and University of Texas-Austin, we shared the first results of an endeavor we started in 2015: to measure air quality using Google Street View cars. You can now see maps for Oakland, California, released by EDF, of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and black carbon—pollutants emitted from cars, trucks and other sources that can affect our health and our climate.

Black carbon particles come from burning fuel, especially diesel, wood and coal. High exposure is associated with heart attacks, stroke and some forms of cancer. Air quality data from Google/Aclima; analysis by Apte et al/EDF. Colors on the map do not correlate to colors on the Air Quality Index. See more at

Scientists can request access to the validated data now. You can also learn more about the science behind these maps in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, by a scientific team led by Dr. Joshua Apte, at the University of Texas-Austin.


Innovation for scale

Along with Aclima, we've been testing air quality equipment with the goal of fine-tuning their mobile-friendly air sensors to a point where they deliver accuracy comparable to laboratory-grade instruments. After years of effort, we announced in September 2018 that we achieved this goal, and that we will expand our air quality mapping to 50 more Street View cars in more places around the globe.


During our initial research phase, Google and Aclima tested air quality equipment on a few Street View cars. Each car was installed with two sets of instruments: the first set contained laboratory-grade air quality reference instruments that are typically used for government air quality monitoring. This equipment is expensive and big, so it’s hard to deploy on a large number of vehicles. The second set had Aclima’s smaller, more mobile-friendly, air sensors that enable us to deploy in higher numbers. With both sets of equipment side-by-side, we've been able to validate their performance, and we’re now confident that the smaller Aclima sensors are ready to be deployed in 50 Street View cars.

How it all started: Methane Mapping

Project Air View started back in 2014, when we announced that we were working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to map thousands of methane leaks from natural gas lines under select U.S. city streets using Street View cars equipped with methane analyzers. In 2016, one of the largest U.S. utilities, PSE&G announced that they used data and maps from our Street View mapping effort to prioritize the replacement of gas mains, as part of their approved multi-million dollar pipeline replacement program. This enabled them to reduce methane emissions from targeted areas by 83 percent, by replacing 35 percent fewer miles of pipe than if the utility had not used the data. See EDF's site (which goes into the bigger picture of what this means), and see the scientific work that has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.