A new partnership between Microsoft and the European Environmental Agency is combining detailed scientific information on air and water quality with observations made by citizen scientists.
Ever wondered about the air quality in Copenhagen? Or perhaps the water quality in Paris?
Eye on Earth uses Microsoft’s Bing Maps to combine goespatial and environmental data from 22,000 bathing sites and 1,000 air quality monitoring stations throughout Europe. An “air quality model” provides the air pollution situation between air quality monitoring stations.
Citizen scientists can contribute their knowledge by clicking on simple user feedback icons. For each location, the map displays the average yearly value of all ratings submitted by citizen scientists. Users can then overlay the environmental data with their own observations with the click of a mouse.
Eye on Earth aims to eventually provide a kind of early detection system, in which satellite and on-the-ground monitoring data can be scaled from a global level down to a local level. According to the website, the project will expand over the next few years to include a variety of other environmental topics including oil spills, coastal erosion, and biodiversity, just to name a few. The hope is to turn Eye on Earth into a “global observatory for environmental change.”
Definitely keep your eye on this project! <– Ohhhhh! Get it?