Let the carbon emissions neighborhood wars begin. Cisco Systems and San Francisco's Department of the Environment announced their collaboration recently on the Urban EcoMap, a free Web-based carbon footprint-tracking tool that breaks down emissions information from energy, waste, and transportation by zip code. Cisco used a number of factors to reach its calculations, including hybrid car ownership, recycling rates, and trash collection.
The basis of EcoMap, available to the public as of today, is its ability to calculate carbon emissions based on zip code. Clicking on the San Francisco zip code 94109 will yield information on the area's population (55,400), households (33,500), average household size (1.65) and carbon emissions measured in pounds/household/year (32,600 for April 2009). The map also ranks zip codes by carbon emissions, with Twin Peak zip code 94127 ranking the guiltiest (67,944 pounds of CO2 each year).
The Urban EcoMap doesn't just provide emissions data—it also contains carbon-cutting tools. One upcoming tool will let users map a bike route with the fewest hills, and another will provide ride-sharing information. Cisco's online tool is based on an open platform, so expect lots of third-party applications to surface, especially in tech-heavy San Francisco.
The San Francisco maps will be updated regularly by Cisco as part of a 12-month pilot project. Amsterdam and Seoul will get their own carbon footprint maps later this year, with more cities expected to join the Urban EcoMap program as time goes on.