Very interesting concept, and it allows you to install Google Earth, which is awesome :o)
Boilermappers: Purdue Researchers Put Emissions on Google Earth
Posted by Keith Johnson
Google Earth let millions of people waste time at work zooming around the globe; Google Oceans promises the same for virtual scuba buffs and amateur oceanographers. Now, Google Earth will give people a graphic look at just where greenhouse-gas emissions come from.
Researchers at Purdue University just added project Vulcan—originally designed for the scientific community—to Google Earth. Vulcan uses EPA data to track U.S. emissions from cars, buildings, factories, and power plants.
The Vulcan add-on for Google Earth apparently addresses the need to bring climate science to Main Street. “This will bring emissions information into everyone’s living room as a recognizable, accessible online experience,” said Kevin Gurney, head of the project and an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue.
The first iteration of Vulcan on Google Earth uses old emissions data—from 2002—but the team hopes to update it with more recent information. After expanding the map to Mexico and Canada, the next step is to step-up the level of detail, so that emissions from individual streets and even buildings are visible on Google Earth, the developers said.
It’s all part of the Google Earth enviro-frenzy. The folks at the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction project are also putting satellite data onto Google Earth, to let people see where natural gas is burned off into the atmosphere, releasing many zephyrs full of global warming gases into the atmosphere.