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Eye on Earth network makes its debut

Network is designed to provide corporations with maps of environmental issues

Eye on Earth network makes its debut
According to Samer Abu-Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf, the Eye on Earth service will revolutionise the way in which people can understand critical information about the planet.

The new Eye on Earth network, designed to provide 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, has gone live.

The network was developed jointly by the European Environment Agency (EEA), an EU body and a leading environmental network and information partner, Microsoft and the geographic information system developer Esri.

 The EEA has already uploaded large amounts of data on water, air, climate change, biodiversity and land use onto Eye on Earth for free and accessible use.

The Abu Dhabi government, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the US Geological Survey has also uploaded data.

"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. We are excited and honoured to be able to provide technologies that help citizens become more aware of the environmental impacts happening where they live," said According to Samer Abu-Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf. 

Companies across the globe can now 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.

The maps are designed so that users 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.

"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. We are very excited about the cloud-based Eye on Earth network we launched recently and are looking forward to engaging with these stakeholders to build further awareness," said Ludo De Bock, senior director EU/ NATO Microsoft Corporation.

The network was built using Esri's ArcGIS Online cloud services coupled with Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure. Eye on Earth is designed to provide a central location for organisations to manage their geospatial content in a security-enhanced environment.

The service features a series of three monitoring applications Watches - AirWatch, NoiseWatch and WaterWatch - to provide a way of presenting comprehensive data on air and water quality, as well as noise levels across Europe. The Eye on Earth take the EEA's datasets on air and water quality and noise levels, and present the data using Microsoft's Bing Map technology.

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