From 4-6 March, the First Eye on Earth User Conference will gather people who share a common interest in sharing environmental data and information for public access both in a European and global context. At the Eye on Earth Summit in December 2011, a public-private partnership was forged by theEuropean Environment Agency (EEA) in conjunction with Esri and Microsoft to provide a cutting-edge information sharing infrastructure for the Eye on Earth Network. This network consists of individuals and organisations sharing geospatially relevant information via an online platform.
So, who are the Eye on Earth users? Well, they are both the information providers contributing content and the end-users who discover the information by having access to it from web-based media such as ArcGIS Online, websites and blogs.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper. Eye on Earth is about connecting networks (people), content (information) and infrastructure (technological platform). Organisations and individuals can contribute their content to the online infrastructure by creating, sharing, and publishing global information. The content can be shared as web maps, data layers and data files, web and mobile applications, and GIS tools. The framework provided by the Eye on Earth Network offers a web-based toolkit supported by ArcGIS Online, a collaborative workspace, and a distribution channel for people to access and reuse your content. It gives visibility to your content via theEye on Earth website. By embedding maps and apps on your or other’s websites and blogs your content is then made even more accessible for others to discover.
The Eye on Earth Network looks to connect the dots of environmental information providers. Spanning a very diverse group of people from formal to informal networks, these include: EU institutions, EEA member and cooperating countries, European Neighbourhood, regional and international organisations, businesses, civil society groups and the research community. Some who are already contributing can be seen here.
Users have several different options as to how to engage with Eye on Earth. Organisations can either set-up an organisational site of their own, start a group for sharing information within Eye on Earth, publish as individuals and share with the Eye on Earth Network or simply explore the wealth of maps created by others.
At the European Environment Agency, we have found that using an organisational account has given us a very efficient way to handle our geospatial outputs while opening the doors for disseminating information as interactive maps and apps to new audiences.
At the First Eye on Earth User Conference and in related dialogue, we hope to inspire new audiences to participate in and contribute to the Eye on Earth Network through the use and application of environmental data and information. The event is officially associated with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and held in the Convention Centre Dublin. Register for the conferencehere.
Want to become an Eye on Earth user? Start by exploring the wealth of information already available. If you want to share your information via the Eye on Earth Network by publishing maps, data and services, then here are some easy options and steps from the contribute instructions.