Esri is the company that first brought GIS into business and government organizations for better decision making through spatially enabled data. Google is the company that brought location-based data down the masses, most individuals now being direct or 3rd party consumers of their mapping products.
Now Google is looking to use their infrastructure, both their streetview cars and their mapping capabilities, to provide information that could be used to improve air quality. This idea represents the true beauty of technology, not just more data but useful data. Field data collection is only as useful as the decisions that are made with it.
Check out a promising vision as Google straps Aclima sensors to its street view cars to map air pollution.