Mapping environmental insights; Saskatoon on Google platform
Today Google launched its Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), a platform that combines Google’s global mapping data with standard greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors. The explorer is a free tool that provides city-specific environmental information across transportation and building emissions, solar potential data, and climate forecast models for cities across the globe.
The City of Saskatoon is among several cities available on the platform, demonstrating past and current City Council commitments to increase awareness, encourage conversation, and advance ongoing engagement on climate change.
“The new Environmental Insights Explorer is an innovative way to engage our community in an important conversation about sustainability and to help people see how they can play a role,” says Mayor Charlie Clark. “As we seek to become more efficient, this gives an important lens on the work that is in front of us so that our city can be part of a greener, smarter future,” adds Clark.
The platform is being launched in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, of which Saskatoon is a member. This international alliance of cities and local governments share a long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to resist climate change and transition to low emission, strong communities.
Google’s stated intent with the platform is to allow users to explore data insights, to see what cities around the globe are doing, and to nurture an ecosystem that can bring climate action plans to life. Google recognises that environmentally-minded City Councils and communities have likely gathered emissions data as well.
“The timing of the EIE platform aligns perfectly with the community conversation we’re beginning to have on the Low Emissions Community Plan,” says Jeanna South, Director of Sustainability. “Having this information at our fingertips helps citizens understand how the choices we make impact our climate, community, and quality of life.”
The Environmental Insights Explorer is primarily based on the same underlying information that is made available in Google Maps. The data in EIE is anonymous, highly aggregated, and applies advanced machine learning techniques to understand how people are moving around the world.