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RESEARCH : NEW REAL-TIME MAPS TO TRACK POLLUTION.

On 14 October, the European Commission welcomed the results of the INTAMAP research project, which developed software to draw up real-time maps of air, soil and water pollution. Funded in the amount of 1.8 million by the EU, INTAMAP involved researchers from the UK, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands.

"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," commented Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "They can also help individuals to avoid pollution such as smog."

The INTAMAP project developed open-source software that creates contour maps showing not only polluted areas but also the origin and destination of the pollution. Such information will enable public authorities to take decisions more speedily to tackle the causes of pollution, while helping individuals to avoid it.

Such a system is something of a revolution for the EU. Until now, in cases of oil spills in European waters, measurements could show the exact area affected but it was often not clear how much pollution was involved or its origin. Without such information, it was difficult for public authorities to act quickly to tackle the problem effectively. Using interpolation methods - worldwide links via internet - these maps now show what is happening between the measurement points and therefore gives a more accurate picture of the pollution.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 28, 2010
Words:227
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