I’ve been selfishly waiting to complete the launch of Eye on Earth Network before sharing more information about the status of Eye on Earth. Last September my team at Microsoft began working with Esri and the European Environment Agency to expand the capability of Eye on Earth – transforming it from a bespoke solution into an open, self-service platform for exchanging environmental information.  I am proud to inform you that the new Eye on Earth Network went live at RIO+20 to major fanfare. Not only has the Eye on Earth Network has been chosen for the Sustainia100, the Eye on Earth Network is now part of The Future We Want: Outcome document adopted at Rio+20, paragraph 274:

“We recognize the importance of space-technology-based data, in situ monitoring, and reliable geospatial information for sustainable development policy-making, programming and project operations. In this context, we note the relevance of global mapping and recognize the efforts in developing global environmental observing systems, including by the Eye on Earth network and through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. We recognize the need to support developing countries in their efforts to collect environmental data.”

The re-launch turns the system into a global public information network for creating and sharing environmental information. Scientists, government, universities and citizen groups can now contribute data and map-based visualizations into this network. The portfolio of content is still small, but growing rapidly, and includes daily ocean temperature forecasts, agricultural areas in Europe, USA land cover, and more. More than anything this information helps set the baseline for the planet, in a very public, accessible way.

I’m honored to be part of the team that is able to make a difference. I would like to appeal to you to make a difference, by sharing your knowledge of your local environment with the world.  There are three ways you can contribute:  

  1. Explore interactive maps made by others and discover new ways of seeing the environment.
  2. Contribute your environmental observations or data. By further sharing these contributions you are helping to expand the knowledge base.
  3. Create your own new custom maps and share them within closed groups or with everyone. See how this cutting edge technology can become an effective tool for you.

Sharing is everything…