Tuesday, April 15, 2008
When we started Google Earth Outreach as a 20% project over 2 years ago, we envisioned supporting public benefit uses of Google Earth. The official launch of the Google Earth Outreach program last June created a place where non-profit organizations could go and learn how to use tools to help illustrate their powerful work in a geospatial context. We opened up our Outreach Showcase Gallery to feature great examples of those using Google Earth for good, whether they be non-profit, for profit, governmental or otherwise.
One of our earliest contributors to the Gallery was a company called Terradex. We're pleased to see they received the United States Environmental Protection Agency 2008 Environmental Achievement Award yesterday for their innovative use of Google Earth to educate the public about the environment. Terradex has created a Google Earth layer called AirWatch that provides real-time air quality information over geographic regions in the United States. Terradex has since extended the AirWatch layer to cover China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. This work inspired the EPA's recent launch of the AirNOW program. Terradex also created Climate Watch to enable users to view their city's greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to neighboring communities using Google Earth or Google Maps. It just goes to show that the sky's the limit on using new tools to empower the public with information in a geographic context.