Home » Green Tech

Microsoft, Google uncover Climate Change Web Apps

15 December 2009 No Comment

Technology.am (Dec. 15, 2009) — Microsoft and Google have built Web applications intended to underline environmental problems coinciding with the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen that run through Friday.

climate_change1Microsoft is functioning with the European Environmental Agency (EEA) to utilize its Bing Maps, Silverlight multimedia technology and Azure cloud platform to demonstrate how climate change is disturbing certain regions in Europe.

The Web site, called the Environmental Atlas of Europe, will notify people about climate-change stories and appealing projects, such as wine farmers in the Tuscany region of Italy who run a carbon-negative farm to a city in Denmark that uses 100 percent renewable energy, said Bert Jansen, technology lead for the EEA.

“It’s weird that not everyone is conscious of these kinds of initiatives,” Jansen said. “I think it’s important that good initiatives get the attention that they deserve.”

Microsoft and the EEA in addition launched another Web site called Bend the Trend, where people can pick from up to 45 pledges for how they can decrease their impact on the environment. Pledges, which are marked on an interactive Bing map, include eating less meat, turning down thermostats and recycling all paper.

Both Web sites are fundamentally data visualization tools focused on environmental information, said Ludo De Bock, senior director for European Union and NATO relations for Microsoft. Jansen said that the EEA has a lot of data, for example noise pollution data, that could be overlaid onto the Web sites.

Google is in addition lending its cloud-computing power to assist scientists keep closer tabs on deforestation. Over the next year or so, Google expects to make public an online version of a tool that analyzes raw satellite imagery to evaluate deforestation over time. The tool will facilitate the creation of deforestation maps much faster than before.

The application is fundamentally an online version of those built by forest researchers Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Carlos Souza of Imazon, an Amazon rain forest research institute. Their applications are used across Latin America, but examination had been hindered by a lack of access to satellite images and slow computational resources, according to a Google blog post.

Google said a model of the platform is obtainable now to a limited number of partners, but it should be rolled out to the public over the next year.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.