News Release

For Immediate Release

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Bristol, UK March 21, 2018 – Launching March 21 online and in virtual reality, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Datavized Technologies, Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) and The Public VR Lab are pleased to announce the public launch of “There’s Something in the Air” a VR data visualization experience exploring air pollution and global data over time around the globe. The public launch coincides with the official launch of Datavized’s closed beta platform at the Data for Development Festival, the inaugural gathering of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data in Bristol, March 21-23 and will be on view in the VR Data Play Space along with access to Datavized software tools at both the festival and the Bristol Data Dive on March 23.

The visualization, powered by Datavized WebVR software, was originally presented by the Public VR Lab’s team at the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet” of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) in Nairobi, Kenya on December 4-6, 2017 to 800-1000 UNEA delegates, volunteers, NGOs, students, businesses, activists and world leaders, helping them to experience and understand environmental data stories in a new way.

The collaborative project was spearheaded by the UNEP, Datavized Technologies, Brookline Interactive Group, The Public VR Lab and The EcoLearn Project, to demonstrate how VR can create a paradigm shift to a more hands-on, visceral understanding of environmental issues through immersive data storytelling, through the physical sense of presence and increased empathy that VR provides. “There’s Something in the Air” presents statistical estimates of air pollution based on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mean annual exposure by country every 5 years from 1990-2010 and yearly between 2010 and 2015. Data sources include the Health Effects Institute – State of Global Air.

“There’s Something in the Air” features a customized visualization of the Datavized software tools scheduled to be released publicly in 2018. Datavized immersive visualization technology, built on the WebVR API, gives users powerful, easy-to-use, three-dimensional geospatial templates for mapping global, national and city data visualizations. The startup, headquartered in New York, is launching its closed beta program working with pilot partners in industries including government, business, education, transportation, mapping, statistics and sustainable development. Business and individual users can sign up to request access to the beta platform through

The experience is viewable on any connected device at, including mobile, desktop, tablet and in VR through WebVR browsers, on headsets including in the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Google Cardboard and Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality headsets. For details on WebVR browsers and supported platforms, visit


This experience demonstrates how big data and VR can be used together to create an immersive environment for increased understanding and enhanced communication of real world challenges. We are delighted Datavized geospatial software products and mapping technologies are being used as powerful tools for environmental education, awareness and impact.” Debra Anderson, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Datavized Technologies Inc.

“For us, it was amazing to collaborate with UNEP and Datavized on this project and put our VR-in-the-Public Interest Tools to good use to create a customized global air pollution VR experience for UNEA,” shared Kathy Bisbee, co-founder and executive director at the Public VR Lab.

“The experience we created represents the new frontier in environmental education, uniting the possibilities of new technologies with the urgency of crises such as air pollution. The leaders exposed to this tool gain a new understanding of the issue, and also a new understanding of how emerging technologies can add a vital dimension to education.” Nir Darom, lead creative designer at the Public VR Lab

“We were amazed at how attendees responded with delight and enthusiasm to virtual reality- from our seven-year-old environmental activist friend, Sasha Bennet, to Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), all of whom remarked how very real their virtual reality experience was” added Ms. Bisbee.

Quotes on Datavized Closed Beta Platform

“Datavized has been coded from the ground up for optimal performance across devices. We gave the same attention to the mobile web experience as we did to room-scale VR to allow users to move seamlessly from 2D to 3D, and doing this involved solving a series of technical challenges that would not have been possible using a game engine.”

“We are excited to see how people take advantage of another dimension with their data visualizations. We are keen to learn from our Beta users and will use the feedback to guide further development. The platform is initially limited to global datasets with geolocation but you can expect to get more updates from us this year that extend the reach of our tools.”

Hugh McGrory, CEO/Co-Founder, Datavized

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

“As a leader in immersive visualization technology, Datavized will provide platform tools for monitoring and visualization of sustainable development goals data. Global, country, and city geospatial templates will address the needs of developing countries and provide global partners with capacity-building tools to map datasets on the open web and strengthen interoperability standards and protocols. Datavized cross-platform geospatial data and analysis tools will allow new ways of experiencing data through accessible web-based collaboration, and contribute to innovative data adoption and methodologies using VR, augmented reality and mixed reality to help better understand and communicate the most pressing issues.

To achieve the goals; from building sustainable cities and communities, to economic growth and climate action, Datavized immersive web visualization tools will build new behaviors in users, moving from merely analyzing data to experiencing information in more visceral ways to better understand the complexities, ask better questions and make better decisions. Datavized is committed to sharing our expertise and solving real-world problems to support the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data”

Debra Anderson, Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer, Datavized

About Datavized Technologies

Datavized is an immersive visualization platform that makes it easy to turn complex data into fully interactive web experiences. Datavized’s geodata software products provide users with web-based drag and drop tools to effortlessly turn location data in spreadsheets into fully interactive 3D maps for enhanced spatial analysis, visualization and decision making. Datavized works on all platforms and connected devices; including desktop, mobile, tablet, and with virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality headsets, enabling users to tell immersive data-driven stories. Datavized Technologies Inc is currently in closed beta and is headquartered in New York.

About Brookline Interactive Group (BIG):

Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) is an integrated media and technology education center and a community media hub for Brookline, MA and the region. BIG facilitates diverse community dialogue, incubates and funds hyperlocal storytelling, arts, journalism and technology projects, and serves over 500 youth and adults annually through innovative classes and partnerships. BIG offers extensive multimedia training, VR, AR and 360-video cameras and training, access to high quality filmmaking equipment, production grants, artists’ residencies,and provides low-cost professional media services to non-profit organizations, education partners, businesses, and to local government.

About The Public VR Lab

The Public VR Lab, a project of Brookline Interactive Group, is building a global network for a Community VR movement that facilitates public dialogue; provides professional training; empowers community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual and augmented content; offers access to tools, headsets, arcades, toolkits, and professional expertise; and generates locally-focused, broadly impactful, XR experiences in the public interest.

About EcoLearn

EcoLearn is an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that explores the use of immersive technologies to support learning about the complexity of ecosystems. EcoMUVE and EcoMOBILE are two products that are freely available for download and use. EcoMOBILE uses mobile devices and augmented reality to infuse real environments with digital resources that engage, inspire and educate people about the complexities of the natural systems that sustain us.

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