Eye on Earth has been around since 2008, crunching environmental reports into interactive maps for the general public and providing a platform for scientists and regulators to share data.
Their newest map, showing the vulnerability of European cities to heat waves as the climate changes, garnered over 125,000 views in its first 24 hours online -- adding momentum to the Eye on Earth Project.
The heat wave vulnerability map allows users to click to change the color coding, showing the evolution of the number of "tropical nights and hot days" (occasions when the nights provide no relief to killer heat in the daytime) from 1971 through 2100. It also explores how urban density interacts with green spaces and surface waters to influence the urban heat island effect.
We hope to see more maps showing other effects examined in the European Environmental Agency report, Urban Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe, as well as similar maps of other regions (the US EPA is also a content provider to Eye on Earth). Wouldn't it be great to have a bookmark to a place where you could get answers to questions like which cities would be flooded if river levels rose 1 meter (3 feet)? Or which cities will adapt best to predicted climate changes? Or where is the water clean enough to swim?
Anyone can access the data at Eye on Earth, no registration is required to browse lively tools that lure people to learn more about data that would otherwise remain neglected in bureaucratic reports, read only by interest groups or specialist committees. An account is required to access the tools and build interactive views of data for presentation to the public or for sharing within work groups.