Welcome to Eye on Earth

Eye on Earth brings together scientific information about the environment with feedback and observations of millions of people – just like you!

On the maps, you can see the water quality for more than 22,000 bathing sites, the air quality for more than 2,000 monitoring stations throughout Europe as well as the noise levels of Europe’s largest cities.

Your contribution is greatly appreciated! Rate your very own feeling about air and water pollution and noise in your neighbourhood and share your thoughts with other citizens in social networks! Use the mobile application “Noise Meter” to assess the noise in your street and contribute to the platform.

ABOUT EYE ON EARTH

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.

The user feedback map is a graphical representation using colours to represent the user feedback, where green is very good, through to red which is very bad. A key is shown at the bottom of the web page. The user feedback maps can be turned on and off using the views drop down.

 

POLLUTANT BARS

High concentrations of the air pollutants PM, ozone and NO2 can lead to: 1) Short-term effects such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; inflammation of the airways, pneumonia; headaches, allergic reactions. 2) long-term effects (particularly concerning PM): chronic respiratory disease; lung cancer; heart disease; damage to the brain, nerves, liver, and kidneys.\ \

concentration (μg/m³)
Pollutant Very Good Good Medium Bad Very Bad
Partical Matter Below 25 25-50 50-75 75-100 Above 100
Ozone Below 60 60-120 120-180 180-230 Above 240
Nitrogen Dioxide Below 50 50-100 100-200 200-400 Above 400

STATION DATA

Station data consists of recent in-situ measurements of concentrations of the key air pollutants ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10). It is hourly retrieved from EEA’s data base. This data base currently covers more than 5000 European measuring stations from which ca. 1000 report routinely. A station utilises different measurement methods for each pollutant. For example, the local ozone concentration can be derived from measuring the strength of UV-light absorption by ozone molecules. In general measurements show hourly mean values.

Though, these are reported almost immediately to EEA, there will be a time lag of at least one hour due to technical reasons. Comparing station readings to the air model map, one will frequently observe a difference between corresponding values. This is mainly due to the limited grid cell resolution of the underlying air quality model used to calculate the air quality model map. You can compare the discrepancy between model and station data by comparing a weather map to the weather station in your garden. While the current air quality models on the European scale utilize mesh sizes of 50 km, a station is representative for a single point only. Dependent on nearby polluters, e.g. traffic, and the wind direction it will capture the air pollution from 1m to several hundred meters distance from the station.

AIR MODEL / PUSH PINS

The model map shows the latest air quality forecast for most of Europe. Colours correspond to the so called Common Air Quality Index (CAQI) which takes into account the concentrations of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM10). The model forecast is started daily during the early morning hours and is valid for 24 hours. The hourly results from the latest forecast are displayed. State-of-the-art air quality models take into account our current knowledge on air pollution using environmental information on weather conditions, available station readings and even satellite data. The model map currently utilizes the median of corresponding forecast values from three different regional air quality models (EURAD, CHIMERE, MOCAGE). See the providers tab for more information on contributing organisations or visit the PROMOTE project page:

MORE INFORMATION

For more information: On air pollutants please visit the Air Quality page of the Directorate General for Environment of the Commission of the European Union or the EEA website and EEA Information Centre.\

The model map shows the latest air quality forecast for most of Europe. Colours correspond to the so called Common Air Quality Index (CAQI) which takes into account the concentrations of ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10). See the CAQI help file for more information. The model forecast is started daily during the early morning hours and is valid for 24 hours. The hourly results from the latest forecast are displayed. State-of-the-art air quality models take into account our current knowledge on air pollution using environmental information on weather conditions, available station readings and even satellite data. The model map currently utilizes the median of corresponding forecast values from three different regional air quality models (EURAD, CHIMERE, MOCAGE).See the providers tab for more information on contributing organisations or visit the PROMOTE project page :

NOISE DATA

Environmental noise is one of the most omnipresent pollutants in the world today. Our modern way of life has meant that wherever we live, work, or play we can mostly expect to be subjected to noise from cars, aircraft, industry or even other people. If we are exposed to too much noise for too long it can have detrimental effects on our health and it is for these reasons that people are beginning to pay attention to the sounds around them. NoiseWatch presents you with the chance to offer your opinion on the sounds that surround you and gives you an opportunity to rate the quality of the aural environment wherever you are in the world.

Introduction
Where does the NoiseWatch data come from?In March 2011, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe published its findings on the burden of disease from environmental noise. This stated that almost 1 million life years are lost each year in Europe due to noise from road traffic alone.

This conclusion was drawn from the increasing evidence on the detrimental health impacts of noise and information reported to the European Environment Agency (EEA) in accordance with a Directive on Environmental Noise.

This is Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise, otherwise known as the Environmental Noise Directive. This required countries to map the exposure to noise from road traffic, rail traffic, airports and industry in the most populated and busy parts of Europe. Only the first phase of this mapping has been completed to date, which means of course that the assessment of the impact on the health of Europeans is almost certainly an underestimation at the moment.

So, according to the official data, there is a problem with noise, but what is the opinion of the citizen; what do you think about the noise pollution where you live?

What kind of assessment is presented by NoiseWatch?NoiseWatch presents you with a rating of the noise environment in the largest of Europe’s cities. This is the European Environment Agency’s own simplified rating and is based upon the data reported in accordance with the Environmental Noise Directive. The purpose of the rating is to provide a starting point from which the citizen can formulate his or her own assessment of the noise environment in the same city.

The EEA rating is presented for each city in terms of four key noise sources: road traffic; rail traffic; aircraft; and industry. Then you, the citizen, have the chance to decide upon your own rating for each noise source in the city, even if it is different to the EEA rating.

The EEA rating is an average of the noise data delivered to it by countries and in many cases the countries derived this data by means of computer based models. In some instance this has been verified or backed up by actual measurements.

NoiseWatch allows the user to also become an acoustic scientist for just a moment by also allowing you to make your own measurements of noise wherever you are. Users of smart phones enabled with decibel measuring functions can make their personal measurement and then simply upload their data to NoiseWatch.

You may even download the EEA’s dedicated application for measuring noise directly to your phone.

The sources in NoiseWatch

For each city, NoiseWatch presents an EEA rating for four key noise sources.These are the four main sources for which EEA has information on at these locations and is EEA’s way of summarising the situation for that source in that particular city.

Each source is rated separately and is described by means of easily identifiable icons illustrating a road vehicle, a train, an aircraft and an industrial building.

By selecting one particular icon, you will be presented with the EEA rating for that source alone. You will see that the quality of the noise environment in that city is described by a simple three colour code.

In this instance green is used to describe a situation where the numbers of people exposed to high levels of noise is relatively low. Yellow describes a situation where the number of people exposed to high levels of noise is moderate and where relatively many people are exposed to high levels of noise, the colour red is displayed.

You, the user may also choose from the same colour choice in order to make your own rating of that noise source in that city. In addition, you may also choose to add a text description of the noise you are rating by selecting descriptive text from the word cloud presented. And, of course you can also download the EEA app and measure your own decibel level.

If you are choosing this measurement option, please be sure to state for how long you made your measurement and what the most dominant noise source was at the time of measuring.

Push Pins

NoiseWatch currently presents an EEA rating for noise sources in the largest European cities only and so does not yet present a rating for noise exposure outside of those cities.

To find out if the city where you are has an EEA rating for noise, please use the push pin function. Using this you can drag and ‘push’ a pin into any location on the map. Then you will see if an EEA rating is available.

Even if you have chosen a location without an EEA rating, you may still create your own rating and upload your own description and decibel measurement.

USER FEEDBACK
Your opinion counts

At present, EEA is only able to rate noise from certain sources and at only certain locations across Europe. It is foreseen that NoiseWatch will be expanded in the future to include other cities, other sources and at an improved resolution of assessment. This will depend greatly upon the data that is sent to EEA by its member countries, but not entirely. As you, the citizen, populate NoiseWatch with your own measurements, ratings and observations, we will through time be able to build another view of the state of the noise environment in Europe and the rest of the world.

disclaimer

The European Environment Agency accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this site and the information does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EEA or other European Community bodies and institutions. The material on this site is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date and may contain links to external sites over which the EEA services have no control and for which the EEA assumes no responsibility. Neither the European Environment Agency nor any person or company acting on behalf of the Agency is responsible for the contents of this website and the use that may be made of it.

NoiseWatch

NoiseWatch contains an EEA rating which is based upon data reported by EEA member countries in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. This rating is not intended to present the official data associated with this Directive and is merely an average interpretation derived by EEA. However, responsibility for the quality of source data, methodologies and models rests with the member countries.
The NoiseWatch rating is based upon data reported by member states and member countries up to 30th June 2010.

DATA PROVIDERS

The air quality data providers listed below are those providing monitoring stations that transmit data on recent in-situ measurements of surface concentrations of key air pollutants: see the help section for more information on such pollutants. Bathing water quality (BWQ) data are provided by the Member States of the European Union to the European Commission and the European Environment Agency. These data are shown as historical data. The data providers listed below contribute seasonal BWQ data: data that is generally the most recent. \ \
If you wish to become a data provider please send your request to eoe.data@eea.europa.eu