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Impressive solar mapping project underway

10th May 2013

A new way of looking at the world and at solar power has been pioneered by a passionate group of people committed to tackling some of today's environmental and societal issues.

Based in the US, this team has built an online platform named the Mapdwell Project, which brings together a huge amount of data and urban information to its users.

The team is made up of people from many different fields, including design, architecture, building technology, engineering, environment sciences, business, finance and computer sciences - just to name a few.

Its mapping systems provide a large amount of information on cities, their buildings and their surroundings, and its creators hope this will be a catalyst for a consumer-driven transformation of the built environment.

"Our mission is to provide information at the consumer level that will drive community awareness, sustainable practices, energy efficiency, and smart growth through the aggregate effort of individuals," says the Mapdwell website.

"We work at the intersection of data, design, and technology to craft innovative and comprehensive analysis, assessment, visualization, and information tools for buildings and urban and non-urban regions and systems. We turn data into information that can be transformed into action."

On May 7, Mapdwell launched its Mapdwell Solar System, an online rooftop solar potential application.

This is a solar mapping and information application, built on an exclusive license from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it can calculate the potential for solar power production in whatever your chosen area.

It can determine the slope, shape and orientation of building rooftops, simulate solar irradiation with historical weather data, take into account physical obstructions, and compute potential solar power generation - also utilising a number of other functions, too.

Information such as solar system size in kWh can be specified and figures such as how many trees are saved by the installation of a solar system can be computed.

A system such as this has the potential to map the entire world's solar potential, providing a global outlook on solar power.

This kind of technology has the benefit of showing clearly how great the potential for solar power is in the world - and when you see the results in this physical map form, it really drives it home and becomes much harder to ignore.

It may well help to inspire government and society to take solar power to the next level and truly integrate it into a standard part of how we live.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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