Using Technology To Explain the Impact of Climate Change, One Glacier At A Time

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Using Technology To Explain the Impact of Climate Change, One Glacier At A Time

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clip_image002Today, on the 60th anniversary of the historic first ascent of Mount Everest, mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears and his foundation GlacierWorks have teamed up with Internet Explorer to launch Everest: Rivers of Ice. This immersive, exploration platform allows visitors to travel the peaks and valleys of the Everest region through sweeping multi-touch HTML5 panoramas and interactive features that brings the area to life and, most importantly, highlights the dramatic changes to the area’s surrounding glaciers.

Because long-term solutions to climate change will require dramatic innovations to create sustainable impact, Microsoft is working to apply information technology innovation to help people and businesses around the world address these issues. While much of our work to address climate change has focused on using IT to advance energy efficiency and reducing our own carbon footprint, we recognize that technologies like Internet Explorer can also be used to help tell the story of how climate change is altering the face of the planet. image

For Everest, the team at Internet Explorer worked with our friends at Pixel Lab to bring the complete experience of Everest online. Through the use of video, gigapixel images, comparative photography, and hot spot overlays, the site allows you to explore Everest and the changes happening in the region via a HTML5 web platform built for touch and the modern web - letting you get up close to the mountain in ways never before thought possible. Some technical highlights from Everest: Rivers of Ice:

  • Touch: Bringing to focus how a touch-friendly web makes experiences more natural for users on devices like tablets, Everest: Rivers of Ice leveraged Internet Explorer’s touch model to deliver very intuitive ways to explore the Everest region.
  • Gigapixel Panorama Viewer: Internet Explorer used the multi-resolution HTML5-based panorama viewer from Bing, which renders perspective corrected panoramas containing billions of pixels.
  • Rich Interactive Narrative (RIN): Developed by Microsoft Research, RIN is a presentation technology for building nonlinear, interactive and cinematic narratives that seamlessly stitch together various media – like the gigapixel panoramas, videos, terapixel online maps, traditional paginated documents, and data visualizations.

We invite you to explore Everest: Rivers of Ice and join us in sparking conversations about climate change. As Breashears has said: “The change is happening, and we are part of it. This is all of our planet, so it’s important to ask questions and learn about that change, and join us in finding a solution.”

Learn more about what it took to build Everest: Rivers of Ice on Internet Explorer’s blog and about the work that GlacierWorks does here.

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