Tracasa develops the European Air Quality Index application for the European Commission and the European Environment Agency

After the success of the Web version, on which the Navarrese public company has been working since 2017, the new mobile application, simple and user friendly, will distribute information on air quality across our continent to the general public.

Tracasa has developed the EuropeanAir Quality Index (AQI) mobile application under its framework contract with the EC’s Directorate-General for the Environment and the European Environment Agency. After the success of the Web version, on which the Navarrese public company has been working since 2017, the new mobile application, simple and user friendly, will disseminate information on air quality on our continent to the public at large.

The mobile application, available for both the iOS and Android platforms, was rolled out yesterday in Madrid at the EU Clean Air Forum by Florika Fink-Hooijer, the head of the EC’s Directorate-General for the Environment, and Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency. On hand at the event were Moisés Zalba, Tracasa’s Director of Operations, and María Cabello, Commercial and International Business Development Manager of the Navarrese company.

As part of its framework contract with the EC’s Directorate-General for the environment and the European Environment Agency for the 2020-2024 period, Tracasa does environmental data consultancy, compilation and design work with information from 38 European states. On this project it worked in cooperation with the Navarrese company Biko to design the mobile application’s final look.

«With the evolution of the AQI’s website format over the years, and its success as a tool for environmental information and awareness, the new mobile application, with Biko’s excellent contribution, constitutes a step forward in terms of accessibility, consultation and usability,» stressed Zalba, along Tracasa’s line of «advancing with innovative solutions that contribute to the public sector’s digital transformation».

The work carried out by Tracasa in recent months – with a team including Miguel Villafranca, Mikel Azpilicueta (Ibertech), Igor Trébol, Rubén Razquin, Sara Domínguez, David Rivero, Iván Pérez, Josu Ramírez and Iratxe Orbe – allows users to view, on their mobile phones, air quality data collected by more than 4,500 stations throughout Europe and combined with other sources, such as the CAMS (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service).

The mobile application was created with the aim of establishing it as a reference point for air quality data in Europe, and of informing the public about air pollution and the actions being taken to improve air quality. «It is also relevant to provide citizens with information to reduce their exposure to polluted air, so that they can make decisions about their outdoor activities, with an emphasis on vulnerable people; in addition to serving as a gateway to access information about other environmental issues», explained Ramírez, head of the Software Engineering and Spatial Data Analytics area at Tracasa.

Meanwhile, Mikel Irujo, the Government of Navarre’s Minister of Economic and Business Development, and President of Tracasa, underscored the project’s «‘made in Navarre’ technological development, and the territory’s capacity to work abroad,» while celebrating that «in the context of the two-fold ecological and digital transition, this tool is a good illustration of how technology and digitization are put at the service of institutions and citizens, providing a benefit; in this case related to the environment and health».

Founded in 1990 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the EEA is a European Union body whose main task is to provide high-quality, independent information on the environment. Thus, the AEMA is the main source of information for those overseeing the development, approval, execution and evaluation of environmental policies, and also for the public at large.

Tracasa signs a 4-million-euro framework agreement with the European Commission

Through early 2024, the Government of Navarra’s public company will be charged with the validation of the Emergency Management Service of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation program

Map of floods in Orihuela (Spain), in September of 2019. Source: Copernicus.

Tracasa has signed a framework agreement worth 4 million euros with the European Commission, as the company being entrusted with the validation of the Emergency Management Service of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation program. Tracasa, which has secured this assignment for the third consecutive time since 2012, will carry out this work until the beginning of 2024.

Tracasa, a public company of the Government of Navarra attached to the Department of Economic and Business Development, renders its main services in the areas of cartography, territorial management and information systems, and offers tailor-made solutions for the modernization of public administrations and private entities, both nationally and internationally.  

The experience Tracasa has acquired over the course of these years in the fields of cartography, data processing, and the management of satellite images, the multidisciplinary nature of its work teams, and its knowledge, acquired through numerous tasks related to European institutions, were pivotal for its selection by the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy).

Minister of Economic and Business Development Manu Ayerdi reacted «very positively» to the news of the renewal of this framework contract for the third consecutive time: «It is a sign of the public company’s solid position in the international arena. This recognition of the important contribution that the public network makes to Navarra’s competitiveness is also very satisfying».

Verification and contact with users

Isabel Goñi Turumbay, project manager at Tracasa, sums up the work carried out by the company as part of this framework agreement: «We carry out actions and analysis on demand through activations that we must resolve in specific time frames. Among other activities, we are in charge of verifying the quality of a sample of products created by the Rapid Mapping subcomponent, and by theRisk and Recovering Mapping subcomponent, and of contact with users to analyze the service’s impact”.

Other activities included in the framework agreement are field work to collect data in situ, the validation of thematic cartographic information, analysis of the emergency situation, searches for alternative information sources, and evaluation of the added value that products give users.

Virtual meeting of part of the Tracasa team working on the project. From left to right, in the top row: Teresa de Blas Corral, Raquel Ciriza Labiano, Maite Zabaltza Jimeno and María Cabello Martínez. In the second row: Idurre Barinagarrementeria Arrese, Mikel Viñuales Lasheras, Esperanza Amezketa Lizarraga and Isabel Goñi Turumbay. In the bottom row_ Arantzazu Larrañaga Urien, Uxue Donezar Hoyos and Fermín Ros Elso.

As a new development relative to previous contracts, Tracasa will oversee a network of experts in natural disaster risk assessment, with the aim of enhancing the consulting work that was already being done under the previous contract, focused on developing and testing new work methodologies that allow for the implementation of new solutions and enhanced mapping services.

The European Union’s Copernicus Program

The Emergency Management Service for Copernicus provides timely and precise geospatial information from anywhere in the world (extracted from remote sensing data via satellite and supplemented by various sources) to all agents involved in the management of natural disasters, man-made emergency situations, and humanitarian crises.    The Copernicus program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission, with the cooperation of EU member states and various European entities, including the Joint Research Center, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA).