Solar News
Mapping the World one Rooftop at a Time
April 29th, 2011

David Levine had an “aha” moment when he realized the worth of mapping the solar potential on the rooftops of every home. That moment came in 2009, where immediately thereafter he resigned from his current job, waited out a six-month non- compete period and then started Geostellar. The basic concept behind the company is to catalog the solar potential of every roof in the world. This information could be used by a variety of different people such as prospectors, who guarantee building owners low electrical costs in exchange for the right to install panels and sell power back to the grid, or big utilities, who could use the information to scope out commercial-scale solar sites.

Compiling the data needed for a project this size has not been easy and currently he only has maps for Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and the District of Columbia. But maybe when you look at how much time and effort goes into getting just one map together that short list will seem a lot more impressive. Geostellar uses LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology which involves shooting lasers or inferred light from a low-flying airplane. Geostellar also had to create software that could compile all of the information. One map could take weeks to compile and organize meaning that the computers would be tied up for that amount of time as well. It has not been easy but Levine is not one to give-up. Geostellar has 80 million roofs ready to be added to the 2.5 million he has mapped at this time, and he has the rest of the world in his sites for the future.

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