My home city of Los Angeles announced their Solar Map Project which leverages Microsoft’s Virtual Earth to allow homeowners and businesses to go online to determine if their properties are good candidates for solar power. (Thanks Chris)
LA County Press PDF: The program uses roof size, pitch and shading from nearby trees, buildings and mountains to provide a building’s solar potential and the potential value of installing solar panels.By typing in an address, a person will learn the property’s roof size, area suitable for solar panels, electricity produced, electricity savings, carbon reduction, nearby solar installations and case studies, available rebates from utility companies, and information about installers.The level of detail provided means that residents and solar installers do not need to go up on every roof to see if it can support solar, saving time and money. Solar installers will be able to give more detailed estimates based on specific situations, but the solar portal provides generally accurate guidelines of what can be expected. The ultimate goal is to make the website a one-stop solar shop for residents and businesses.