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Google to Charge Solar Manufacturers for Map Data Access, Aiming for $100M

Google is reportedly planning to license new sets of mapping data to various companies, aiming to generate up to $100 million in its first year from these offerings. The company intends to sell access to new APIs (application programming interfaces) containing information related to renewable energy, air quality, and solar data. The planned APIs include a Solar API, which could be valuable for solar installers, solar design firms, real estate companies, utilities, and more.

The Solar API will draw data from Project Sunroof, a solar savings calculator launched in 2015 that provides users with estimates of solar costs and 3D modeling of roofs and nearby surroundings based on Google Maps data. Google plans to offer individual building data as well as aggregated data for entire cities or counties.

In addition to the Solar API, Google is planning to introduce an Air Quality API that will provide customers with air quality data, pollutants information, heat maps, hourly air quality updates, and up to 30 days of air quality history.

The move to monetize its mapping products is part of Google’s broader effort to generate revenue in various ways, especially amid economic challenges. The company has been working on maximizing the potential of its mapping products, which have historically been under-monetized. The revenue from these APIs could help Google compete with market leaders like Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud segment.

As Google expands its mapping data offerings to include renewable energy and air quality information, it aims to tap into new markets and provide valuable tools to companies and individuals interested in sustainability and clean energy solutions.

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