Eye on Earth network goes live
Abu Dhabi, December 29, 2011
The new Eye on Earth network went live, providing environmental stakeholders with an online community and application development platform, allowing users to create maps and visualise data on environmental issues on a real-time basis.
The launch took place at the recently concluded Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi, a statement from the forum said.
Eye on Earth has been developed jointly by the European Environment Agency (EEA); an EU body and leading environmental network and information partner, Microsoft; and the geographic information system developer, Esri.
The EEA has already uploaded large amounts of data onto Eye on Earth for free and accessible use. This includes data on water, air, climate change, biodiversity and land use.
Other organisations which have also uploaded data include the Abu Dhabi government, United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the US Geological Survey.
Samer Abu-Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf, said: “Transforming information into insight is essential if we are to address society’s massive environmental challenges. By leveraging not only new technologies enabled by cloud computing, but also doing so in a way in which user interaction is both simple and powerful, the Eye on Earth service will revolutionise the way in which people can understand critical information about our planet.”
Organisations across the globe have been invited to join the network and start adding data to the range of datasets already available.
The network takes the form of online maps which can be manipulated by users. Without the need for any technical training, people can choose to add a huge variety of layers to the map – for example showing pollution, social development, economic factors, land use, and transport – to create new insights.
Ludo De Bock, senior director EU/ Nato Microsoft Corporation, said : “Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi provided a platform to meet more stakeholders who have great ideas on how to work together to help save our planet and many are coming up with excellent ideas on how to further leverage the Eye on Earth network.”
Built using Esri’s ArcGIS Online cloud services along with Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, Eye on Earth provides a central location for organisations to manage their geospatial content in a security-enhanced environment.
The EEA hosted the Eye on Earth Watches in the cloud, on Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform, providing it with a scalable hosting and services management environment and the ability to quickly and easily build, deploy, scale, and manage incremental updates and enhancements to applications and web services hosted in Microsoft datacenters.
The service features a series of three monitoring applications, called the Eye on Earth “Watches”, to provide an efficient and accessible way of presenting comprehensive data on air and water quality, as well as noise levels across Europe.
The Eye on Earth Watches – AirWatch, NoiseWatch and WaterWatch – takes the EEA’s datasets on air and water quality and noise levels, and presents the data using Microsoft’s Bing Map technology. – TradeArabia News Service