Google Cloud Next '23: the Maps perspective

By: Shaun Hudson
Tag(s): Geolocation
Published: Sep 12, 2023
Google Cloud Next '23: the Maps perspective

Google's flagship annual cloud conference ‘Google Cloud Next’ took place last week in San Francisco, and we are excited to share that, the many product announcements included the launch of three new environmental-focused APIs for Google Maps Platform - Air Quality API, Solar API, and Pollen API

Expanding the commitment to sustainability, Google is introducing these new products within the Google Maps Platform that leverage the power of ML and AI. Coupled with aerial imagery and environment data, these products offer real-time information about solar potential, air quality, and pollen levels. This technology empowers developers and organisations to create tools that accurately map and mitigate environmental impact. 

Ensuring Air Quality Information

The Air Quality API processes terabytes of data every hour from various sources, including governmental monitoring stations, meteorological data, sensors and satellites. It allows you to request air quality data for a specific location including more than 70 Air Quality indexes (either hyper local or universal), pollutants, and health recommendations. It covers over 100 countries with a resolution of 500 x 500 metres. Use cases could include: 

  • Healthcare – Help patients avoid breathing hazards: Incorporate air quality data into treatment plans and symptom trackers to help patients more actively manage their health.
  • Building and Manufacturing – Make buildings smarter: Manage the health of buildings more effectively by programming HVAC systems to respond to local air quality.
  • Travel and Tourism – Help travellers choose healthier routes: Help people choose routes for hiking, cycling, or driving that avoid upcoming pollution.

See the Air Quality API in action here


Unlocking Solar Potential

In 2015, Google initiated Project Sunroof to help individuals assess the solar potential in their area and its associated potential energy cost savings. Due to the huge interest in this data (Google is already reporting a 60% increase in users searching for ‘’rooftop solar power’’ in 2023 vs 2022), To respond to this interest, Google is pleased to be commercially launching a new API via partners such as Ancoris – introducing the Solar API

This technology offers several features that benefit solar marketplace websites, solar installers, SaaS developers, and any user looking to understand rooftop potential of a particular address. - In short, the Solar API provides access to the solar potential of hundreds of millions of buildings.

The data and insights provided by the Solar API are focused on replacing costly manual processes with time-saving automated ways to determine a rooftop’s viability and requirements for a solar installation that maximises the energy potential of each panel. This saves installers time and money, while removing barriers to the finalising of sales.

Additionally, the Solar API’s broad coverage allows professionals to look across neighbourhoods and regions to prioritise installation locations, investments, and business growth opportunities. 

Use cases can include: 

  • Create high quality solar designs, from anywhere. Use solar panel array suggestions, along with rich data and imagery, to create accurate proposals and designs without ever having to visit the site. 
  • Help homeowners make informed decisions. Provide detailed imagery, designs, and solar production estimates.
  • Reach customers in new areas. Create reliable proposals in 40+ Countries with the backing of Google's infrastructure and support. 


See what the Solar API can do via this video here

Anticipating Allergen Patterns

Soon to be launched, the new Pollen API helps manage allergies with data (you can start exploring the service here)., We are already envisaging use cases such as: 

  • Help patients proactively treat their allergies – Provide personalised recommendations based on the day's pollen forecast. 
  • Manage in-cabin air quality – Automatically take action when driving through high-pollen areas, like turning on the air conditioning or closing windows. 
  • Use global data for clinical research or market analysis - Gain insights from global historical datasets for scientific research or market planning. 
  • Help travellers make better plans – Integrate multi day pollen forecasts into your travel app or website so customers can prepare before they arrive.


See what the Pollen API can do with this video here.

Empowering Sustainability Through Information 

These three new APIs from Google Maps Platform offer businesses and developers access to comprehensive and up-to-date environmental data. This empowers them to develop sustainability-focused products and assist people in adapting to climate change’s impact. Utilising these services, Ancoris is committed to helping organisations create applications and tools that take collective action in driving a positive impact on the planet and environment. 

We understand the use cases of these services are wide and can be game changers. If you would like an expert opinion on working out what these new APIs can do for you and your business, please feel free to reach out to me or the wider Ancoris team to see how we can help – we’re ready if you are.

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