From the Connect Africa Summit on Oct. 29th, Microsoft announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) outlining how they will work together to build a security-enhanced, inclusive and interoperable information society.
At the same time, Microsoft and Virtual Earth partner IDV Solutions unveiled ITU Global View,a* new online solution based on Virtual Earth to accelerate the implementation of the goals the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Africa to bring the benefits of technology to next 5 billion people to advance social and economic opportunity.
ITU Global View will be open to all stakeholders — governments, industry, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society — allowing users to quickly identify exact geospatial locations and the associated data available on development activities in line with the WSIS goals.
The easily available ‘window on progress’ will offer information such as GSM coverage, broadband penetration, specific ICT development projects as well as demographic and geographic information, allowing individuals to review status of specific projects, visualize overall areas of focus, and identify gaps and areas of overlap to both address and correct.
(Full press release can be read here.)
Sources from the event tell me that that the demo has been extremely well received, with numerous dignitaries and industry leaders commenting on how powerful and applicable this tool will be to their development initiatives.
Below are some screenshots of the demo. Regular readers of my blog will recognize the slick IDV interface with the ability to turn on and off GIS layers in the right-hand panel, giving you the opportunity to view data from a broad view and then drill down on a particular point for details.