posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 03:15 PM
Google just announced that they will continue their air quality "experiment" in the Bay area, Central Valley and Los Angeles. While I admire their
dedication of using statistical data to proof certain situations (instead of just claiming it), I highly doubt that their process will generate
anything else than flawed data.
The biggest issue I see is that this data will be consumed by the EPA and other Government agencies and presented as "facts" to the public which
lacks the understanding how this data is collected. I already see the headline: Your morning commute is the reason why you are sick! Well traffic is
probably more responsible for that than air quality.
The basic idea is that Google is using it's street view car fleet to collect environment data while driving around cities. This data is later
processed and scaled to a certain time range in which it was collected. The primary concern here is that the sample rate is just too little and will
never reach statistical significancy. Basically worthless data. There is also another issue that the sensor might read proportional higher the street
view car instead of the environment (I saw a couple VW's in their fleet, too). Also there is no mentioning of any independent - unbiased organization
that actually verifies the sensors in contrast to the data that needs to be collected. You have to "trust" that Google and Aclima doesn't screw the
Now the biggest flaw is that they drive once or twice through a street and take that as their base for that region. Well the actual air pollution
shifts with the surrounding conditions, e.g. Rain, Humidity, Season, etc. It's not a constant that is proportional. So that can go two ways: You could
pick the worst day with a high pressure system and the readings will be off the charts resulting in intense doom predictions OR you could have the
best day ever and you come to conclusion that 100k have no impact. Obviously those are extremes but if carefully selected, the data is screwed
Overall it seems a nice project but this data gives me the chills because it's way too easy to manipulate and it probably will be ending up with
Governments like in California who are starting enacting ridiculous environment laws based on this super flawed data.
Nevertheless it's interesting to watch how this "experiment" of the "experiment" unfolds ..
edit on 29-9-2015 by flyandi because: (no reason given)