My Google Map Blog

Tag: Sustainability

New ways to make more sustainable choices

by Hema Budaraju on Sep.29, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We’re dedicated to helping one billion people make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. Here’s how we’re helping people do that.
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4 new updates that make Maps look and feel more like the real world

by Chris Phillips on Sep.29, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

At Search On, we’re sharing how advancements in computer vision and predictive models help us build a more informative, fully immersive Map.
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More ways to drive sustainably and save money with Google Maps

by Rubén Lozano-Aguilera on Sep.07, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

In addition to showing the fastest route, Google Maps will now also display the most fuel efficient one, if it’s not already the fastest.
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Go even greener this holiday season

by Michelle Budzyna on Dec.14, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

I’m always looking for ways to be more sustainable. And with the holidays in full swing, when many of us (✋) are particularly overindulgent, it’s a fitting time to start eco-friendlier traditions.

Here are a few ways you can embrace more green this holiday season, with help from Google.

Take the road less wasteful

Traveling for the holidays this year? It’s easy to find more sustainable ways to get where you’re going. Google Flights now shows estimated carbon emissions for every flight. And if you’re hitting the road, Google Maps lets you choose the most fuel-efficient driving route if it’s not already the fastest one. If you also need a place to crash (other than your parents’ house), a quick Google search for hotels will show you information about their sustainability efforts.

Gif showing a flight’s carbon emissions information from a list on Google Flights.

Look up estimated carbon emissions on Google Flights.

Save (your) energy

It’s tempting to keep the living room holiday lights on all night — not only because they’re festive, but so you can avoid the tangled wires to turn them off. If you connect them to your Google Nest or Home speaker or display using a compatible smart plug, you can easily turn them off with your voice, conserving energy for both you and the planet. You can also set up a Routine so they automatically turn on and off at a specific time every day. While you’re at it, save even more energy with a Home & Away Routine for your Nest thermostat to automatically adjust the heat at different points of the day, including when you’re out of the house.

Recycle the old, in with the new

After the holidays, many of us are faced with mountains of boxes, wrapping paper and, oh yes, a tree. You may also need to make space for new gifts — like the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro?

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3 new ways to navigate more sustainably with Maps

by Russell Dicker on Oct.06, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Vehicles on the road account for over 75% of transportation CO2 emissions and are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency. Today at our Sustainable with Google event, we’re announcing three new Google Maps updates to help lower these emissions and provide people with greener choices when getting from A to B.

Eco-friendly routing: now live

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Giving you more sustainable choices with Google

by Sundar Pichai on Oct.06, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Climate change is no longer a distant threat — it’s increasingly local and personal. Around the world, wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather continue to affect our health, our economies and our future together on our planet. We need urgent and meaningful solutions to address this pressing challenge. That’s why last year we committed to bold action to run our data centers and campuses on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.

Companies aren’t the only ones asking what more we can do to help the planet — increasingly people are asking themselves those questions, too. So today we’re sharing several new ways people can use Google’s products to make sustainable choices. Among them, we’re introducing new features to book flights or purchase appliances that have lower carbon footprints, a Nest program to support clean energy from home, and eco-friendly routing on Google Maps — which is rolling out today. And when people come to Google Search with questions about climate change, we’ll show authoritative information from sources like the United Nations, in addition to the existing news sources that we currently raise up in the carousel. It’s all part of our goal to help one billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022.

You can now see carbon emissions per seat for every flight in Google Flights.

Travel and shop more sustainably

We’re adding new features to help make decisions about travel — from what flights to book to where to stay. Launching globally today, we’re bringing carbon emissions information to Google Flights. You’ll be able to see associated carbon emissions per seat for every flight, and quickly find lower-carbon options. And when you search for hotels, you’ll see information on their sustainability efforts, from waste reduction and water conservation measures to whether they’re Green Key or EarthCheck certified.

We’re also helping people make more sustainable choices when they shop, starting with home appliances. When you search for energy-intensive products like furnaces, dishwashers or water heaters, suggestions in the Shopping tab will help narrow your search to cost-effective and sustainable options.

Supporting clean energy from home

For over a decade, Nest thermostats have helped people save energy at home. Today we are taking these efforts a step further with a new service called Nest Renew. Using a feature called Energy Shift, compatible Nest thermostats can help users automatically shift electricity usage for heating and cooling to times when energy is cleaner or less expensive. For those who want to do more to help support the growth of clean energy, we will offer a paid subscription option, Renew Premium, that will match your fossil fuel electricity at home with high-quality renewable energy credits generated from the same projects in Google's energy portfolio.

Getting around more sustainably

Traveling by car is one of the more carbon-intensive choices people make on a daily basis. Starting today in the U.S., and in Europe in 2022, Google Maps will let you choose the most fuel-efficient route if it isn’t already the fastest one. We estimate that this could save over one million tons of carbon emissions per year — the equivalent of removing over 200,000 cars from the road — and save you money by reducing fuel consumption.

You can choose the most eco-friendly route in Google Maps.

We're also working to make sure the cars that remain on the road are eco-friendly. On Search, we're making it easier to see hybrid and electric vehicle options, compare them against gas-powered models, and find rebates so you know the true cost before you buy. These features will start to roll out in the U.S. this year, with more to come in 2022.

Of course, the most sustainable choice often doesn't involve a car at all. That’s why we’re introducing lite navigation for cyclists on Maps, and making it simpler to find bikes and scooter shares in over 300 cities around the world.

AI for more efficient traffic lights

Illustration of an intersection showing cars, a stoplight and roadways.

Early research indicates that AI can help cities make their traffic lights more efficient, making every route more eco-friendly no matter the car.

At the same time, we’re finding ways to make routes more efficient, across an entire city, with early research into using artificial intelligence to optimize the efficiency of traffic lights. We’ve been piloting this research in Israel to predict traffic conditions and improve the timing of when traffic lights change. So far, we are seeing a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. We’re excited to expand these pilots to Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

Cleanest cloud in the industry

We’re also helping business customers like Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever and Salesforce develop new solutions for the specific climate change challenges they face, and benefit from the cleanest cloud in the industry. We recently launched tools to help businesses choose cleaner regions to locate their Google Cloud resources. And next week at Google Cloud Next ‘21, we’ll announce more ways every company can choose to be more sustainable.

More sustainable with Google

In all these efforts, our goal is to make the sustainable choice an easier choice. At the individual level, these choices may seem small, but when people have the tools to make them at scale, they equal big improvements. We’ll need nothing less to avert the worst consequences of climate change, and we’ll continue to find ways our products can help.

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Te ofrecemos más opciones sustentables con Google

by Sundar Pichai on Oct.06, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

El cambio climático ya no es una amenaza lejana, sino algo cada vez más local y personal. En todo el mundo, los incendios forestales, las inundaciones y otras condiciones climáticas afectan nuestra salud, nuestras economías y nuestro futuro juntos en el planeta. Necesitamos soluciones urgentes y significativas para abordar este desafío apremiante. Es por eso que el año pasado nos comprometimos a alcanzar, para el año 2030, el ambicioso objetivo de operar nuestros campus y centros de datos con energía libre de carbono de forma permanente.

Las empresas no son las únicas que se preguntan qué más podemos hacer para ayudar al planeta; cada vez más, las personas también se hacen esas preguntas. Por eso, hoy compartimos varias maneras nuevas en las que las personas pueden usar los productos de Google para tomar decisiones sustentables. Entre ellas, presentamos nuevas funciones para reservar vuelos o comprar electrodomésticos que tienen una huella de carbono más baja, un programa de Nest para apoyar la energía limpia en el hogar y nuevas rutas ecológicas en Google Maps, que comienzan a implementarse hoy. Y cuando las personas acudan a la Búsqueda de Google con preguntas sobre el cambio climático, mostraremos información fidedigna de fuentes como las Naciones Unidas, además de las fuentes de noticias existentes que actualmente presentamos en los resultados. Estos esfuerzos forman parte de nuestro objetivo de ayudar a mil millones de personas a tomar decisiones más sustentables para 2022.

Ahora se podrán ver las emisiones de carbono por asiento para cada vuelo en Google Flights.

Viaja y compra de manera más sustentable

Estamos agregando nuevas herramientas para ayudar a tomar decisiones sobre viajes: desde qué vuelos reservar hasta dónde hospedarse. Con un lanzamiento global, ahora incluímos información sobre emisiones de carbono en Google Flights. Podrás ver las emisiones de carbono asociadas por asiento a cada vuelo y encontrar al instante opciones con menos emisiones. Y cuando busques hoteles, verás información sobre los esfuerzos de sustentabilidad, desde la reducción de desechos y las medidas de conservación del agua hasta las certificaciones Green Key o EarthCheck obtenidas.

También ayudamos a las personas a tomar decisiones más sustentables cuando compran, comenzando por los electrodomésticos. Cuando busques productos que consuman mucha energía, como hornos, lavavajillas o calentadores de agua, las sugerencias en la pestaña Compras te ayudarán a limitar la búsqueda a opciones rentables y sustentables.

Apoyando la energía limpia en el hogar

Desde hace más de una década, los termostatos Nest ayudan a ahorrar energía en casa. Hoy damos un paso más conun nuevo servicio llamado Nest Renew. Con una función llamada Energy Shift, los termostatos Nest compatibles pueden ayudar a los usuarios a cambiar automáticamente el uso de electricidad para calefacción y enfriamiento a los momentos en los que la energía es más limpia o menos costosa. Para aquellos que quieran ayudar más a apoyar el crecimiento de la energía limpia, ofrecemos una opción de suscripción paga, Renew Premium, que igualará el consumo estimado de electricidad de combustibles fósiles de los usuarios en el hogar con créditos de energía renovable generados a partir de plantas solares y eólicas de EE.UU.

Nos movemos con mayor sustentabilidad

Viajar en auto es una de las decisiones con mayor generación de carbono que las personas toman a diario. A partir de hoy en EE.UU., y en Europa en 2022, Google Maps te permitirá elegir la ruta con menor cantidad de emisiones de carbono, en el caso que no sea la ruta más rápida. Estimamos que esto podría ahorrar más de un millón de toneladas de emisiones de carbono por año, el equivalente a retirar más de 200,000 automóviles de la carretera, además de permitir a los usuarios ahorrar dinero gracias a la reducción del consumo de combustible.

Puedes escoger la ruta con menor emisiones de carbono en Google Maps.

También estamos trabajando para asegurarnos que los autos que permanezcan en la carretera sean ecológicos. En la Búsqueda de Google, estamos haciendo que sea más sencillo ver las opciones de vehículos híbridos y eléctricos, compararlas con los modelos a gasolina y encontrar descuentos para que sepas el costo real antes de comprar. Estas funciones se lanzarán en EE.UU. este año, y habrá más en 2022.

Por supuesto que, a menudo, la opción más sustentable simplemente no involucra al automóvil. Es por eso que presentamos funciones de navegación más sencillas para los ciclistas en Maps y facilitamos la búsqueda de bicicletas y scooters compartidos en más de 300 ciudades de todo el mundo.

Inteligencia artificial para semáforos más eficientes

Las primeras investigaciones indican que la inteligencia artificial puede ayudar a las ciudades a hacer que sus semáforos sean más eficientes haciendo que cada ruta sea más ecológica, sin importar el medio de transporte.

Las primeras investigaciones indican que la inteligencia artificial puede ayudar a las ciudades a hacer que sus semáforos sean más eficientes haciendo que cada ruta sea más ecológica, sin importar el medio de transporte.

Al mismo tiempo, buscamos formas de hacer que las rutas sean más eficientes en toda una ciudad, con investigaciones iniciales donde se utiliza inteligencia artificial para optimizar la eficiencia de los semáforos. Pusimos a prueba esta investigación en Israel para predecir las condiciones de tráfico y mejorar los tiempos en los que cambian las luces de los semáforos, y observamos una reducción de entre el 10% y el 20% en el combustible y el tiempo de demora en las intersecciones. Nos entusiasma el potencial de estas pruebas y estamos en conversaciones para expandirnos a Río de Janeiro y otras ciudades.

La nube más limpia de la industria

Aparte de a los individuos, ayudamos a clientes empresariales como Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever y Salesforce a desarrollar nuevas soluciones en función de los desafíos específicos del cambio climático que enfrentan, de modo que puedan beneficiarse con la nube más limpia de la industria. Hace poco, lanzamos herramientas para ayudar a las empresas a elegir regiones más limpias donde ubicar sus recursos de Google Cloud. Y la próxima semana, en Google Cloud Next '21, anunciaremos más formas en las que cada empresa puede construir un futuro más sustentable.

Más sustentabilidad con Google

En todos estos esfuerzos, nuestro objetivo es hacer que la opción sustentable sea una elección más fácil. En el nivel individual, estas opciones pueden parecer pequeñas, pero cuando las multiplicas en todos nuestros productos, equivalen a grandes mejoras. Necesitaremos eso y más para prevenir las peores consecuencias del cambio climático. Seguiremos trabajando para generar formas en las que nuestros productos puedan ayudar.

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How 5 cities plan to use Tree Canopy to fight climate change

by Ruth Alcantara on Sep.30, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Planting trees in cities helps provide shade, lower temperatures and contribute to cleaner air — all of which are huge benefits when it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change. That’s why we’re expanding our Environmental Insights Explorer Tree Canopy insights to more than 100 cities around the world next year, helping local governments fight climate change. We chatted with city officials in Los Angeles, Louisville, Chicago, Austin and Miami to learn more about how they plan to use Tree Canopy insights to build thriving, sustainable cities in 2021 and beyond.

Los Angeles

An image showing tree canopy coverage in Los Angeles

Tree canopy coverage in Los Angeles

Los Angeles was the first city to pilot Tree Canopy Insights. Since then it’s become an essential part of the city’s goal to increase tree canopy coverage by 50% by 2028 in areas of the city with the highest need. The city is working to plant 90,000 trees this year, and Tree Canopy Insights helps them prioritize which neighborhoods need tree shade the most.Rachel Malarich, Los Angeles’ City Forest Officer, and her team use Tree Canopy Insights alongside their inventory system to look at canopy acreage projections, current canopy cover and temperatures. The land use types within the tool allows them to consider the type of outreach needed and opportunities that exist in a given neighborhood. Most importantly, it helps Rachel and her team know which program initiatives are working and which aren’t.

“Tree Canopy Insights’ ability to give us timely feedback allows me to have data to make arguments for changes to the City's policies and procedures, as well as  potentially see the impact of different outreach activities going forward.” - Rachel Malarich, Los Angeles City Forest Officer

Louisville


An image showing tree canopy coverage in Louisville

Tree canopy coverage in Louisville

Similar to other cities, Louisville officials found that monitoring tree coverage on their own was hugely expensive and time intensive. Sometimes it took years to get the accurate, up-to-date data needed to make decisions. 

With Tree Canopy Insights, they’ve been able to glean actionable insights about tree cover faster. In just a few weeks, they’ve pinpointed that the west side of town was losing tree shade at an unprecedented rate and jump started a plan to plant more trees in the area. 

“Planting trees is one of the simplest ways we can reduce the impacts and slow the progress of climate change on our city. With support from Google’s Tree Canopy Insights, Louisville can enhance its ongoing surveillance of hot spots and heat islands and understand the impact of land use and development patterns on tree canopy coverage.“ – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Austin

An image showing tree canopy coverage in Austin

Tree canopy coverage in Austin

Austin’s summers are hot with the heat regularly reaching over 90 degrees. Using Tree Canopy Insights, Marc Coudert, an environmental program manager for the city, noticed a troubling trend: ambient temperatures were higher in the eastern part of the city, known as the Eastern Crescent. With these insights, Marc and the City’s forestry team developed Austin’s Community Tree Priority Map and doubled down on planting trees in neighborhoods in the Eastern Crescent to make sure there was equitable tree canopy coverage across the city. 

“At the city of Austin, we’re committed to making data-backed decisions that bring equity to all of our communities. Google’s Tree Canopy Insights empowers us to do exactly that.” - Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Chicago

An image showing tree canopy coverage in Chicago

Tree canopy coverage in Chicago

Chicago’s Department of Public Health understands that planting trees is an essential part of promoting health and racial equity. After all, a lack of trees can be associated with chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease and mental health conditions. With Tree Canopy Insights, the department discovered that their hottest neighborhoods are often also the most disadvantaged — making these communities extremely vulnerable. With the use of this tool, the City of Chicago is committed to focusing their tree planting efforts specifically on these high-risk areas. 

"Trees not only provide our city with shade, green spaces and beauty, but they are also precious resources that produce clean air — making them key to shaping our sustainable future. Through this partnership with Google, our sustainability and public health teams will have access to real-time insights on our tree coverage that will inform how we develop and execute our equitable approach to building a better Chicago landscape. I look forward to seeing how this technology uses our city's natural resources to benefit all of our residents."  - Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

Miami

An image showing tree canopy coverage in Miami

Tree canopy coverage in Miami

Miami gets over 60 inches of rain per year, leading to potentially devastating effects from flooding and infrastructure damage. To address this, the city recently launched their Stormwater Master Plan. The multi-year initiative has already resulted in over 4,000 trees planted, translating to an additional 400,000 gallons of water absorption capacity per day. Moving forward, the city plans to use Tree Canopy Insights to evolve and improve this plan.

“Google’s Tree Canopy Insights is going to help us build on the progress of our Stormwater Master Plan in smarter, more effective ways. We believe that every city needs to be a “tech city,” and leveraging Google’s AI capabilities to improve every Miamians quality of life is exactly what I mean by that.” – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

If you’re part of a local government and think Tree Canopy Insights could help your community, please get in touch with our team by filling out this form.
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A marine biologist uses Maps to explore under the sea

by Alicia Cormie on Jun.08, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Just under the water lies one of the biggest mysteries of the Great Barrier Reef: blue holes. These underwater sinkholes give researchers a rare look at ocean life and how we can protect it. Until a few years ago, only two blue holes were documented in the entirety of the Great Barrier Reef — they are hard to find and even harder to get to. 

With the help of Google Maps, marine biologist Johnny Gaskell and a team of researchers are finding previously unknown blue holes. In 2017, after witnessing Cyclone Debbie destroy many of the reefs in its path, he set out to find more blue holes. Home to hundreds of species of coral and serving as a protective waters for larger marine life, these formations give scientists a view of history buried in undisturbed sediment layers and clues about  how to better protect coral reefs. 

Using Google Maps’ satellite view, Johnny followed the cyclone’s path to pinpoint areas along the reef that might have been spared from damage. That’s when he spotted perfect circles along the reef, indicating a potential blue hole. The formation he identified was south of the Whitsundays in the Hard Line Reefs, a difficult-to-reach area of the Great Barrier Reef that’s dangerous to navigate. Despite this, Johnny and a team of divers headed out into the unknown, unsure of what — if anything — awaited them.

There’s still so many spots out in the Great Barrier Reef that are unexplored. Johnny Gaskell
Marine Biologist

With the satellite view of Google Maps on their phones, they navigated their boats through narrow channels in unsurveyed waters until the blue dot on their map was directly over the blue hole. Johnny dove in and found healthy coral formations that have sat undisturbed, possibly for centuries. Along the edges were delicate birdsnest corals, vibrant giant clams and huge branching staghorn corals. In the stillness of the blue hole’s center, there were green sea turtles, giant trevally and sharks that all called the dark, cool water home. 

With the help of Google Maps, a discovery that would have taken years of underwater exploration on the seafloor is now allowing researchers to expand our understanding of the world’s largest ecosystem. Today, Johnny is still working to build a snapshot of coral reef conditions. Working with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Reef Census project, they are using geotagged images to give everyone — from scientists to students — a better idea of what’s going in depths of the water whether they dive in or not. 

In 2021 the Great Reef Census is expanding to reach more reefs, collect more data, and broaden its research goals. To join the efforts, sign up as a Citizen or contribute directly via the project’s fundraising page

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