Xearthy Project - Solving Environmental Problems

January 16, 2013

Xearthy LogoAn exciting project to develop content and tools for a new service that supports collaborative environmental problem solving is now in beta test mode.

The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have initiated a social media hub that supports environmental groups, especially those concerned with water resources, to share ideas and materials in a Drupal-based Web environment. SILS students have been invited to work on the project by gathering information resources, creating metadata services or building online tools for users. This is a great way to apply your talents to make the world better, cleaner and safer.

“Julie’s Earth (Xearthy) is a platform designed to catalyze concerted and participatory environmental problem solving,” said Dr. Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor. “Our hope is that individuals, organizations and communities (or e-hoods) will use the site to solve sustainability, environmental and natural resources problems.”

Xearthy Project - Solving Environmental Problems Basic social media functionality is in place, but for the site to succeed, the team hopes to expand functionality to include, for example, graphical visualization tools, maps, streaming environmental data and much more - all linked directly to more advanced social media functionality (e.g. ranking tools). Developers of decision support and scenario planning tools may wish to integrate their tools.

This effort was launched as a partnership between SILS and the EPA Office of Research and Development, but the opportunity to add new partners, whether individuals or organizations, is welcome.

For login information to the pilot Web site at www.juliesearth.org OR xearthy.org, contact UNC project lead: Aaron Brubaker, brubaker@email.unc.edu or US EPA project lead: Rick Ziegler, ziegler.rick@epa.gov.