Aclima:Turning data into environmental intelligence

About Aclima

Aclima designs and deploys sensor networks that advance environmental intelligence to improve human health and planetary health. The platform combines leading-edge sensing technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to take the real-time pulse of the invisible world around us. Translating real-time data into actionable insights, Aclima transforms how we understand and manage our buildings, cities, and industries to create a more resilient, healthy, and thriving world.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

With Google Cloud Platform, Aclima is improving efficiency and speed, gathering and analyzing billions of data points to support better environmental decision-making.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Translates billions of air quality data points into actionable intelligence
  • Scales to support large-scale deployments of tens of thousands of sensors around the world
  • Focuses on gathering and analyzing environmental data rather than managing IT

Collecting 2 BILLION data points daily

It’s no secret that pollution is detrimental to people’s health and contributes to climate change. But how can we see what the air quality is like on particular city streets? That remains largely unknown because ground-level, real-time measurement in cities has never been done.

Until now, that is. Aclima, a San Francisco-based company specializing in the design and deployment of environmental sensor networks, set out to measure, map, and better understand air quality across America’s cities. Starting with Denver in 2014 and expanding in 2015 to the San Francisco Bay Area and communities in Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley, Aclima’s platform tracks air quality block-by-block and neighborhood-by-neighborhood. Its fleet of Aclima-equipped Google Street View cars have clocked more than 100,000 miles—collecting nearly a billion data points.

“We chose Google Cloud Platform because of its stability, scalability, resiliency, and the robust tools offered across the stack.”

Davida Herzl , Co-founder and CEO, Aclima

Measuring this new layer of environmental data requires not just a roving sensor network to gather information, but a scalable, secure platform to manage what’s quickly becoming one of the largest datasets in the world. Aclima chose Google Cloud Platform because it can handle vast amounts of data and provides scalable growth potential.

“We chose Google Cloud Platform because of its stability, scalability, resiliency, and the robust tools offered across the stack,” says Davida Herzl, Co-founder and CEO at Aclima.

Tracking air quality

Aclima’s platform measures many airborne pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The hyperlocal data streams in real-time to an enterprise data warehouse and computing platform built using Google Cloud Platform. Aclima has been developing on Google Cloud Platform since its earliest deployments in buildings, comprising thousands of sensors, which began sending data in 2013 and continues to collect half a billion data points daily.

Google Compute Engine and Google Container Engine support Aclima’s proprietary software translating information from sensors into data points for analysis and writing them to storage, including Google Cloud Storage and Google BigQuery.

“With Google Cloud Platform, we don’t have to worry about maintenance, configuration, management, and scaling for rapid growth,” says Davida. “All that is taken care of, so we can focus on delivering value to our customers and partners.”

Mapping how cities live and breathe

Aclima’s platform is supporting one of the largest data sets of urban air pollution ever assembled, the storage of which lies exclusively on Google Cloud Platform. In a peer-reviewed paper, Aclima, Google, and partners explain the mobile sensing platform that recently collected 2.7 million data points over 14,000 miles and 150 days in Oakland, CA. The study was built off the pilot done in Denver, which launched the partnership between Aclima and Google Earth Outreach to map air quality across cities by integrating Aclima’s sensing platform on Google Street View cars. To date, they have driven more than 100,000 miles and collected nearly a billion environmental data points about some of the largest metropolitan areas in California. Together, Google and Aclima are bringing a new class of tools to transform how natural resources are managed.

“We have a profound opportunity to understand how cities live and breathe in an entirely new way by integrating Aclima’s mobile sensing platform with Google Maps and Street View cars,” says Davida.

“Google Cloud Platform has given us the tools to scale the Aclima platform for gathering and analyzing a whole new layer of rich environmental data. We believe this real-time information will help businesses, policymakers, and citizens play more active roles in improving human and planetary health.”

Davida Herzl, Co-founder and CEO, Aclima

Understanding hyperlocal environmental risks

Aclima makes its data and analytics available to air quality experts and research partners, including the EPA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It’s enabling research at the University of Arizona’s Institute on Place and Wellbeing through a deployment with the U.S. General Services Administration. The EPA, Environmental Defense Fund, and others are applying Aclima’s city-scale environmental intelligence to better understand how air pollution affects human health in specific communities. Soon, community members will be able to view the data on street-level air quality maps in Google Earth and Google Maps.

Giving scientists and citizens access to the data will help individuals, communities, and policymakers better understand and mitigate health risks due to environmental conditions at the precise locations they occur.

“Google Cloud Platform has given us the tools to scale the Aclima platform for gathering and analyzing a whole new layer of rich environmental data,” adds Davida. “We believe this real-time information will help businesses, policymakers, and citizens play more active roles in improving human and planetary health.”

About Aclima

Aclima designs and deploys sensor networks that advance environmental intelligence to improve human health and planetary health. The platform combines leading-edge sensing technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to take the real-time pulse of the invisible world around us. Translating real-time data into actionable insights, Aclima transforms how we understand and manage our buildings, cities, and industries to create a more resilient, healthy, and thriving world.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

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