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Thursday, 14 October 2010

EU funded project helps to map pollution

Real time maps of air, ground and water pollution can now be made available to everyone thanks to an EU-funded research project called INTAMAP. The INTAMAP project has developed open specifications software to draw up contour maps that not only show the exact location of polluted areas but also illustrate where pollution is coming from and where it is headed. Such information enables public authorities to decide more quickly on appropriate action to tackle the source of the pollution and allows individuals to avoid it. Researchers from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and the UK worked on the project which received some €1.8 million in EU funding. Applying ICT research to benefit Europe's citizens and businesses is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe adopted by the Commission in May 2010. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said "The INTAMAP project is a good example of how research can help to improve everyday life in Europe. Real time pollution maps can be a crucially important tool for public authorities to identify the sources of pollution and how best to tackle it. It can also help individuals to avoid pollution such as smog." Until now, if there was an oil spill in European waters, measurements could show the exact area affected by the pollution but it was often not clear how much pollution was involved or where it was coming from. Without this information, it was difficult for public authorities to act quickly to tackle the pollution effectively.

Source: European Commission