Google Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) is a city emissions data tool developed by Google that uses Google Maps transport and building data to estimate GHG emissions data in these sectors for individual cities.
|Suitable for which city climate journey stage?
|Establishing an emissions baseline Identifying specific sources of emissions Tracking progress overtime
- Global coverage
- Aligned with GPC
- Provides information on journeys taken by cycling and walking
- Only covers transport and building sectors
- Low accuracy of building energy use data
- Not aligned with the CRF
|Free to use – requires city to sign up
|Google EIE estimates GHG emissions by modelling estimates of transport activity data and building footprint data based on actual measurements of traffic and buildings (the same underlying information that is made available in Google Maps) and multiplying it by emission factors from the World Bank’s Climate Action for Urban Sustainability (CURB) tool. For the transport data, Google EIE estimates annual vehicle trips by mode and vehicle distance travelled for all trips in a city and multiplies this by emission factors from CURB. For the buildings data, Google EIE converts building footprint to energy use data using estimates of building energy performance from CURB. Following this, the data is converted to emissions using emission factors sourced from CURB or national-level values where available.
|Documentation of methodology
|Data quality/verified by 3rd party
|Testing modelled transport data against actual road sensor counts in cities across 10 countries. The data is not verified by a third party.
|Alignment with global standards and protocols (eg GPC and CRF )
|Aligned with the GPC
|1, 2, 3
|CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3
|Buildings and transport (on-road, water-borne, rail)
|Scopes, GHGs and sectors excluded
|Sectors: transport (aviation and off-road), waste, AFOLU, IPPU.
|Functionality for city to make adjustments
|Limited functionality to make adjustments. Cities can update population data for 2021 and efficiency and emission factors can be adjusted in the tool. Uses Google Maps to define city boundary. City must contact Google to redefine boundary.
|Latest accounting year
|Frequency of data updates
|Metric tonnes (t CO2e)
|Using the tool, data outputs and how it can be exported
|Cities need to sign up on the website to use the tool. Users can download the data as a csv file. A small amount of data processing is needed to convert the raw transport data into the GPC or CRF format. Pick which year you want the data for. Identify which emissions scope the journeys fall into (for example, 'in-boundary’ is Scope 1, whereas ‘inbound’ or ‘outbound’ is Scope 3. Following this, you can input the transport data directly into your emissions inventory. The buildings data is provided as a total for residential and a total for non-residential and is not disaggregated by scope (eg Scope 1 and 2). The energy performance data used to estimate emissions from building footprints is sourced from CURB and may vary significantly from local building energy use data. Therefore most cities will find that local utility-provided data on building energy usage is currently more accurate than that provided by Google EIE10 and is recommended where available. Google EIE data only covers the transport and buildings sectors. Therefore, cities would need to combine this data with emissions data for their other sectors to develop a full, comprehensive inventory. Not aligned with GCOM CRF.
|Import into CDP-ICLEI Track
|Currently no functionality to import data into CDP-ICLEI Track
|Additional tool functionalities
|Provides additional data on rooftop solar potential, avoided emissions estimates, co-benefits (job creation estimates)