AskAMEE is like Google meets WolframAlpha for carbon footprints

AMEE, backed by O’Reilly and Union Square Ventures among others, set out in 2008 to map, measure and track all the carbon and energy data on Earth. That’s a big job, and competes with others like Brighter Planet to do it. It’s since won contracts with the likes of the UK Government, CNN, Google, the list goes on. But what it hasn’t cracked is a consumer-facing app which gets the issue of ‘carbon footprints’ into the mind of the ordinary member of the public.

That’s changed with the launch of AskAMEE which effectively combines a search engine and calculation tool (a bit like Google + WolframAlpha). It’s pretty intuitive and is thus able to make climate change science and calculations quite a bit more accessible to the average Joe or Jane, assuming they can get the hang of using it.

For instance you can work out the carbon footprint of 10kg of strawberries, 42 kWh of electricity in the UK and 1 parsec in a Mini Cooper. More usefully, AMEE has also been busy developing a “Location Footprinter” which will be able to automatically calculate your travel carbon footprint with your Foursquare check-ins – try it out.

A big move is opening up its platform to the developer community and organising a hackathon in January. It is also integrating with Minecraft and Autodesk (embedding foot printing into the design process). A Universities initiative now has over a dozen partners.

New CEO, Tim Murphy, who used to run Dun & Bradstreet (founder Gavin Starks is now Chairman and involved in key partnerships and outreach).

Here’s an interview we did recently with founder Gavin Starks: