Eye on Earth is a two-way communication platform on the environment which brings together scientific information with feedback and observations of millions of ordinary people. It is the result of a partnership between Microsoft and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Currently, it includes information on the water quality for more than 22.000 bathing sites throughout Europe. EyeOnEarth also includes information on air quality for more than 1000 air quality monitoring stations throughout Europe. Additionally, an air quality model enables viewing of the air pollution situation in between the air quality monitoring stations. For water sites, the portal presents historical data over several years and for some, the latest 2009 data is also available.
Over the five years of the planned Microsoft-EEA partnership, Eye on Earth will gradually grow to include information on many other environmental topics and turn into a global observatory for environmental change. It will broaden the thematic spectrum of environmental information by integrating the most prominent environmental challenges of our times, such as ground level ozone and other forms of air pollution, oil spills, biodiversity, and coastal erosion. At a later stage, it will also include additional information providers and link out to other automated environmental monitoring services.
Eye on Earth makes use of the technological innovations of Microsoft to combine environmental data with geospatial data through Microsoft's Bing Maps for enterprise 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 reverse is also true. Local observations contributed by day-to-day users will be comparable with the global observations of environmental change.