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NASA, Google collaborate to allow users to track air pollution at local level

NASA and Google will develop advanced machine learning-based algorithms that link space data with Google Earth Engine data streams to generate high-resolution air quality maps in near real-time..

NASA Google collaborate to allow users to track air pollution at local level gcw
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First Published Sep 16, 2022, 6:08 PM IST

The United States space agency has collaborated with Google to help local governments improve their monitoring and prediction of air quality. In order to produce high-resolution air quality maps very instantly, NASA and Google will use cutting-edge machine learning-based algorithms that combine space data with Google Earth Engine data streams.

Rebecca Moore, director of Google Earth, Earth Engine, and Outreach said, "We're delighted about our relationship with NASA to make everyday air quality more actionable at the local level." The outcomes will lead to the assessment and forecasting of dangerous pollutants, such nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, at the city-scale and in close to real-time.

Google has incorporated two new NASA data sets into the Earth Engine Catalogue that are automatically updated daily. These include information from the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 and the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Composition Forecasts (GEOS-CF).

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To map and forecast areas with poor air quality, they provide satellite measurements of contaminants. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), harmful air pollution causes harm to both people and the environment and accounts for around 7 million annual deaths globally.

According to Pawan Gupta, senior scientist with Universities Space Research Association (USRA) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, "This partnership is a major step forward in integrating air pollution data from a range of critical sources, from ground-level observations to satellite data, into advanced machine learning algorithms."

Environmental insights, like high resolution air quality maps, can be useful tools for cities and community organisations who can take action on climate and health in their neighbourhoods.

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According to Moore, "this scientific research collaboration with NASA will help us increase the resolution, validity, and use of air quality maps in both space and time, offering everyone more data for decisions toward cleaner air."

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