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January 21st, 2008
Defra and Infoterra work together on Google’s innovative UK Carbon Footprint Project

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PR – Infoterra Ltd. has supplied the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with core geospatial information, including climate change, carbon emission and waste recycling data, that features in Google’s innovative UK Carbon Footprint Project. Infoterra already hosts all of Defra’s core geographic information and worked with the department to select the right datasets, process the raw data into a form that could be read by the Google Earth engine, and provide Google with the consultancy support needed to ensure a seamless transfer. Infoterra also sourced additional datasets from relevant third party information providers such as AEA Energy & Environment for carbon emission data, the Hadley Centre for climate change analysis, and UK local authorities for data on rates of waste recycling per head of population.

The UK Carbon Footprint Project allows individuals to calculate their own personal carbon footprint, choose carbon-reducing steps from a personalised action plan, and compare their own actions with those of others around the UK by placing themselves on the Google UK Carbon Footprint Map. To measure your own carbon footprint and find out what practical steps you can take to reduce it, visit “We are delighted to have helped Defra identify and deliver the different information sets needed to create the multiple layers for Google’s UK Carbon Footprint Map.

This project clearly shows how the success of exciting new Web-based projects, such as the Carbon Footprint Map, still depends on the quality and accuracy of the core underlying geospatial data,” commented Dr. Andy Wells, Director of Sales for Infoterra Ltd. “Our ability to source the right data, identify new information sources when needed, and then deliver that data through a consumer-oriented interface, such as Google Earth, has helped to make the project a success for Defra. “The combination of our geospatial data skills with Google’s ability to create spatial communities and encourage local participation has created an exciting new resource that will help people see how their individual actions can make a difference to climate change,” he continued. “At Defra we’re committed to sharing our data to enable, for example, citizens to calculate their carbon footprints.

Working with a specialist partner like Infoterra meant we could be sure that the data provided to Google was accurate and fit for purpose,” added Alan Waller, Data Licensing Manager for Defra. Infoterra is committed to pioneering the development of geospatial solutions for government, and is one of Defra’s key partners, along with IBM UK Ltd, in the creation of SPIRE, the department’s Shared Spatial Information Service. SPIRE has been instrumental in driving forward the corporate use of geospatial information within Defra, enabling the more effective delivery of strategic outcomes by supporting evidence-based policy making and delivery. Infoterra itself is committed to achieving environmental excellence and the company has secured the internationally accepted ISO 14001 accreditation awarded to organisations that have successfully put in place an effective Environmental Management System.

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