Microsoft has teamed up with the European Environment Agency to launch a mashup dubbed Eye on Earth, which combines the software giant’s Virtual Earth mapping technology with the scientific data from the EEA to showcase the bathing water quality and cleanliness from 21.000 sites around 27 European countries. The mashup comes a thad bit late, as summer has already kicked into full gear some time ago, but nonetheless this is a pretty useful if you care about the quality of the water at your favourite beach.
Eye on Earth also offers users the possibility to contribute to the portal through feedback and observations. The intention is to make this local data from ordinary people comparable with the global observations of environmental change. This is how MS puts it:
“Eye on Earth makes use of the technological innovations of Microsoft to combine environmental data with geospatial data through Microsoft’s Virtual Earth and to enable the general public to contribute their knowledge with simple communication tools. The technology employed at this stage will evolve into a virtual implementation of an early detection system using satellite data in combination with in-situ data and helping to scale the information from global to local level.”
The portal is a result of a partnership between MS and the EEA, formed last May, which will continue for the following five years. That means Eye on Earth will gradually grow to include information on many other environmental topics and turn into a global observatory for environmental change.