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April 28, 2021

The tech that’s tackling climate change

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The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. With the world and news agenda fast-changing around us, now’s the time to get agile in how we think and work.

This newsletter brings you the best of the week in the ‘new normal’, straight from the desk of the Innovation team.

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As registration opens for Instinctif Partners’ session around the commercial opportunities of a low carbon agenda (sign up here), we’re taking a look at the tech that’s helping to shine a light on the effects of climate change.

  • Google Earth’s new 4D time-lapse feature uses 24 million satellite photos captured between 1984 to 2020 to provide a visualisation of climate change’s significant impact on the natural environment.

The tool was created in partnership with NASA, the United States Geological Survey’s Landsat program, the European Union’s Copernicus program and its Sentinel satellites, and Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. Through the tool users can see a visualisation of disappearing ice caps, changing coastlines, fading glaciers, urban development, and the impact of wildfires on agriculture.

“Visual evidence can cut to the core of the debate in a way that words cannot and communicate complex issues to everyone,” said Rebecca Moore, a director of Google Earth, in a recent blog post.

Users can type in any location to see the time-lapse in their desired area, with further guided exploration made possible through Voyager, Google’s storytelling platform.

  • Climate Crisis Font’ from Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat provides a typeface that shrinks according to the degree of polar ice cap melting over time.

Using real-life data about the decline of the Arctic sea ice between 1979 to 2050, the font’s weight both looks back into the past but also projects into the future. The less ice, the smaller the font, with the later years showing more jutting, thinner lines, depicting what the newspaper’s art director Tuomas Jääskeläinen describes as “icy sharp edges”.

The typeface is free and was developed by Helsingin Sanomat and TBWA\Helsinki.

  • And back to Google – this time taking a tour through its Environmental Insight Explorer (EIE). The Explorer is an online tool which has been developed to provide cities with data and modelling to help measure emissions, analyse energy usage and find ways to reduce harmful contributions (e.g. by mapping alternative, low-carbon energy sources, for example).

The EIE Labs also share live experiments looking at everything from hyperlocal, street-by-street air quality data to tree canopy data.

To hear from the likes of Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee, and Mike Barry, Strategic Advisor and commentator on Sustainable Business, sign up to Instinctif Partners’ 20 May event. Registration closes on 13 May.

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Twitter is now launching a live test of its new ‘Professional Profiles’. These provide a new way for brands to present themselves on the platform, with dedicated tools and features aligned specifically with work use.
As Twitter puts it: “Professional Profiles are a new tool that will allow businesses, non-profits, publishers, and creators – anyone who uses Twitter for work – to display specific information about their business directly on their profile. We’re starting with a small pool of businesses in the U.S. and will give more accounts access to Professional Profiles in the coming months.”

The new Twitter profiles include more information, including address and contact info, within the main profile frame, and an updated layout, in variance to personal handles.

The roll-out is in beta in the US, so at the present time it remains to be seen if the update will soon be used by a business near you.

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This week’s tip comes from Associate Partner, Charlie Bagley:

Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your personal information.

With this in mind, and in light of recent data breaches from some of the leading social media platforms, I recommend thinking about how secure your passwords are across your devices.

The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. This can be as simple as using uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and punctuation. If you’re extra savvy, you can use symbols, inverted characters and you can even try punctuation in different languages, for example,  “¿” or “°̂”.
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