Combining Google's satellite mapping technology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's dearth of pollution and contamination data, new web applications let users map out toxic and contaminated sites.
"A sophisticated new breed of mapping software on the Web is allowing users to pinpoint toxic hot spots and hazardous sites beneath the ground using a wealth of new information and mashed-up existing technology."
One new application allows users to "type in a ZIP code, and yellow stars indicate the Superfund sites on or near the designated area."
"'Google has given you the platform,' said Pat Garvey, a system manager with the EPA. 'EPA is giving you the data. It's a convergence of software and of source data. The software is there. The Internet is there. Now the data is available.'"