Geospatial Technology

Collaboration with Microsoft


The Nature Conservancy is partnering with Microsoft to address the world’s most pressing issues in ocean, coastal, floodplain, and watershed environments through the expansion of The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Solutions Toolkit. The Toolkit represents the Conservancy’s largest suite of geospatial tools and web applications for climate adaptation and resilience planning, and Microsoft has committed to leverage this technology on their Azure cloud platform to promote growth and innovative collaboration. Marking the 10th anniversary of Coastal Resilience this year, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will migrate specific programs and projects within the Toolkit to Azure and expand it to include:

  • Historic, real-time, and climate projection analysis and data processing across social-ecological systems
  • Decision support tool and app design, usability testing, and effective use analytics
  • Business opportunities that address local and global environmental challenges and identify nature-based adaptation solutions that reduce risk

This new and exciting partnership is a collaboration between Microsoft and various TNC teams including Washington State, Global Oceans, Water, and TNC’s Technical Information Systems (TIS). This relationship builds on a long history of support and strategic collaboration between the two organizations.

The collaboration is in line with Microsoft’s environmental mission to empower people and organizations globally to thrive in a resource-constrained world. As such, Microsoft has committed to support the TNC’s spatial data and tools on the Microsoft Azure cloud for three years. This corresponds to Microsoft’s goal of supporting the development of innovative discoveries through technological advancements. The development of a stormwater and coastal marine mapping tool for the Puget Sound, as well as identifying water quality and quantity issues globally through a beta Protecting Water Atlas, are local and global examples of where this partnership is working to build geospatial solutions for conservation.

“Technology accelerates everything it is applied to. It therefore holds the promise to accelerate conservation solutions so that they scale to global environmental challenges. This migration to Azure is a great opportunity for TNC in advancing our geospatial decision support tools and web apps that can catalyze conservation and climate adaptation efforts across land and sea.” – Zach Ferdaña, Program Manager for Global Oceans at The Nature Conservancy.

The official launch of the collaboration can be seen in our press release, and a Microsoft blog has been written about this new venture in celebration of Earth Day 2017.

To learn more about the partnership, read this article by Geek Wire’s series on community issues, innovative solutions to societal challenges, and people and non-profit groups making an impact through technology.