Microsoft Cares about the Environment through Technology
Article by George Norman
On 14 Dec 2009
Microsoft says it wants to improve access to timely, accurate and relevant environmental data thorough the use of technology – hence at the 15th Climate Change Conference (COP15) it launched technology meant to help individuals manage their individual impact on the environment. The technology I am talking about is the Environmental Atlas of Europe (Atlas), a Microsoft-powered application developed with the aid of the European Environmental Agency (EEA) that is meant as a platform to educate people about climate change.

For the time being Atlas delivers stories from 9 different locations (Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Lapland, Netherlands, Poland and Russia), stories that show how climate change has affected these locations. To access these stories the computer user needs only click the icons displayed in Bing Maps (Atlas uses the Bing Maps interface).

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“The Atlas stories, told by eyewitnesses across Europe, can help people understand how our world is changing as a result of climate change and – through examples of positive actions taken by governments, communities and people – inspire them to take action and make a difference,” said Microsoft Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard. “Our contribution to the project is to help spread the message through technology.”

At COP15 a second application powered by Microsoft technology has been unveiled: Bend the Trend. It is an online global program that hopes to benefit the environment by getting people to pledge they will make lifestyle changes that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

”Essentially, it’s a way to involve every single citizen with an Internet connection who wants to help,” Managing Director of Global Strategic Accounts with Microsoft, Frank McCosker said.” The Bend the Trend application, along with the Environmental Atlas of Europe, demonstrate how technology can empower citizens in the fight against climate change, he added. “By putting information into the hands of citizens, technology is letting them answer an urgent question: ‘How can you help?’”

To get started with Atlas, please click here.
To get started with Bend the Trend, please click
here.



Tags: Microsoft, 15th Climate Change Conference , Environment, Environmental Atlas of Europe, Bend the Trend
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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