Even the though the Curious Boy was born in the depths of winter, when spring came we were crazy about sunscreen. We obsessed about which one to use and made sure to fully reapply every 2 hours.
After reading a report from the European Space Agency (Link) I feel better about how strict we were. The World Health Organization claims that 60,000 people die annually from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Simply taking shade and wearing sunblock are effective measures.
Now guests at certain hotels can have recommendations about what sunscreen to use and how much time to spend in the shade texted to their phones.
By using data from Envisat and Meteosat-8 satellites, HappySun is also able to offer the sea surface temperature and sea water transparency. Knowing the sea temperature allows tourists to make decisions on holiday destinations depending on their desire for cool or warm waters. Knowledge of the sea water transparency is useful for tourists wanting to dive in waters with good visibility in order to explore the marine environment.
The UV protection service is currently available in Tuscany, Italy, for APT Versilia and Sardinia, Italy, for Baja Hotels. The APT Versilia website shows the temperature of the Versilia sea, while the Baja Hotels’ website shows sea temperature implemented in a Google Maps interface.
"Tourists appreciate having a ‘satellite eye’ that takes care of their skin during sun exposure. Tourists, snorkellers and divers all appreciate having information on sea water in order to find the best conditions," Baja Hotels General Manager Marco Bongiovanni said.
"HappySun is an innovative service conceived in the scope of a European project with the aim of spreading the information regarding benefits and drawbacks associated to heliotherapy," Renato Baldi, APT Versilia Director, said. "We have hosted such a service on our website to promote Versilia as a place where people can sun safely."
These types of services are set to continue in the near future, as HappySun is following up the tourism aspects of the service with tour and hotel operators in preparation for next summer. In addition, the Global Monitoring of the Environment and Security (GMES) initiative – a joint initiative of the European Commission and ESA – is incorporating the public health aspects within its portfolio of services.
The HappySun service, provided by Flyby s.r.l., is backed by an ESA Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) programme aimed at fostering the development of Earth Observation data within business practices.