Group

Software and Mobile Apps / Feed

The software and apps used and built by the conservation tech community are as varied as the species and habitats we work to protect. From fighting wildlife crime to collecting and analyzing data to engaging the general public with unique storytelling, apps, software, and mobile games are playing an increasingly large role in our work. Whether you're already well-versed in the world of software, or you're a hardware expert looking for guidance from the other side of the conservation tech field, this group will have interesting discussions, resources, and ideas to offer.

discussion

Passionate engineer offering funding and tech solutions pro-bono.

My name is Krasi Georgiev and I run an initiative focused on providing funding and tech solutions for stories with a real-world impact. The main reason is that I am passionate...

2 1

Hi Krasi! Greetings from Brazil!



That's a cool journey you've started! Congratulations. And I felt like theSearchLife resonates with the work I'm involved round here. In a nutshell, I live at the heart of the largest remaining of Atlantic forest in the planet - one of the most biodiverse biomes that exist. The subregion where I live is named after and bathed by the "Rio Sagrado" (Sacred River), a magnificent water body with a very rich cultural significance to the region (it has served as a safe zone for fleeing slaves). Well, the river and the entire bioregion is currently under the threat of a truly devastating railroad project which, to say the least is planned to cut through over 100 water springs! 



In face of that the local community (myself included) has been mobilizing to raise awareness of the issue and hopefully stop this madness (fueled by strong international forces). One of the ways we've been fighting this is through the seeking of the recognition of the sacred river as an entity of legal rights, who can manifest itself in court, against such threats. And to illustrate what this would look like, I've been developing this AI (LLM) powered avatar for the river, which could maybe serve as its human-relatable voice. An existing prototype of such avatar is available here. It has been fine-tuned with over 20 scientific papers on the Sacred River watershed.



And right now myself and other are mobilizing to manifest the conditions/resources to develop a next version of the avatar, which would include remote sensing capacities so the avatar is directly connected to the river and can possibly write full scientific reports on its physical properties (i.e. water quality) and the surrounding biodiversity. In fact, myself and 3 other members of the WildLabs community have just applied to the WildLabs Grant program in order to accomplish that. Hopefully the results are positive.



Finally, it's worth mentioning that our mobilization around providing an expression medium for the river has been multimodal, including the creation of a shortfilm based on theatrical mobilizations we did during a fest dedicated to the river and its surrounding more-than-human communities. You can check that out here:



 

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/850179762



 

Let's chat if any of that catches your interest!

Cheers!

Hi Danilo. you seem very passionate about this initiative which is a good start.
It is an interesting coincidence that I am starting another project for the coral reefs in the Philipines which also requires water analytics so I can probably work on both projects at the same time.

Let's that have a call and discuss, will send you a pm with my contact details

There is a tech glitch and I don't get email notifications from here.

See full post
discussion

Need advice - image management and tagging 

Hello Wildlabs,Our botany team is using drones to survey vertical cliffs for rare and endangered plants. Its going well and we have been able to locate and map many new...

6 0

I have no familiarity with Lightroom, but the problem you describe seems like a pretty typical data storage and look up issue.  This is the kind of problem that many software engineers deal with on a daily bases.  In almost every circumstance this class of problem is solved using a database.

In fact, a potentially useful analysis is that the Lightroom database is not providing the feature set you need.

It seems likely that you are not looking for a software development project, and setting up you own DB would certainly require some effort, but if this is a serious issue for your work, you hope to scale your work up, or bring many other participants into your project, it might make sense to have an information system that better fits your needs.

There are many different databases out there optimized for different sorts of things.  For this I might suggest taking a look at MongoDB with GridFS for a couple of reasons.

  1. It looks like you meta data is in JSON format.  Many DBs are JSON compatible, but Mongo is JSON native.  It is especially good at storing and retrieving JSON data.  Its JSON search capabilities are excellent and easy to use.  It looks like you could export your data directly from Lightroom into Mongo, so it might be pretty easy actually.
  2. Mongo with the GridFS package is an excellent repository for arbitrarily large image files.
  3. It is straightforward to make a Mongo database accessible via a website.
  4. They are open source (in a manner of speaking) and you can run it for free.

Disclaimer: I used to work for MongoDB.  I don't anymore and I have no vested interest at all, but they make a great product that would really crush this whole class of problem.

See full post
discussion

Wildlife Conservation for "Dummies"

Hello WILDLBAS community,For individuals newly venturing into the realm of Wildlife Conservation, especially Software Developers, Computer Vision researchers, or...

3 4

Maybe this is obvious, but maybe it's so obvious that you could easily forget to include this in your list of recommendations: encourage them to hang out here on WILDLABS!  I say that in all seriousness: if you get some great responses here and compile them into a list, it would be easy to forget the fact that you came to WILDLABS to get those responses.

I get questions like this frequently, and my recommended entry points are always (1) attend the WILDLABS Variety Hour series, (2) lurk on WILDLABS.net, and (3) if they express a specific interest in AI, lurk on the AI for Conservation Slack.

I usually also recommend that folks visit the Work on Climate Slack and - if they live in a major city - to attend one of the in-person Work on Climate events.  You'll see relatively little conservation talk there, but conservation tech is just a small subset of sustainability tech, and for a new person in the field, if they're interested in environmental sustainability, even if they're a bit more interested in conservation than in other aspects of sustainability, the sheer number of opportunities in non-conservation-related climate tech may help them get their hands dirty more quickly than in conservation specifically, especially if they're looking to make a full-time career transition.  But of course, I'd rather have everyone working on conservation!

Some good overview papers I'd recommend include: 

I'd also encourage you to follow the #tech4wildlife hashtags on social media! 


 

 

I'm also here for this. This is my first comment... I've been lurking for a while.

I have 20 years of professional knowledge in design, with the bulk of that being software design. I also have a keen interest in wildlife. I've never really combined the two; and I'm starting to feel like that is a waste. I have a lot to contribute. The loss of biodiversity is terrifying me. So I’m making a plan that in 2024 I’m going to combine both.

However, if I’m honest with you – I struggle with where to start. There are such vast amounts of information out there I find myself jumping all over the place. A lot of it is highly scientific, which is great – but I do not have a science background.

As suggested by the post title.. a “Wildlife Conservation for Dummies” would be exactly what I am looking for. Because in this case I’m happy to admit I am a complete dummy.

See full post
discussion

How do you access the internet remotely?

Hello community members!    I was wondering, for those of you who work in remote locations, how do you deal with issues such as Internet access? I just came across...

4 1

Wow! Those Yeti things are just what are needed for the wild passage project:



 

My solution is usually wayyyy more traditional and involves climbing the tallest tree or hiking the highest hill. 

That being said, I cant find a clear explanation about how BRCK works and I assumed it used signal repeater, which is illegal in many countries. It is also very prone of lightning strike, which is the reason I did not use it as I live in a very lightning-prone area.

Trying to make sense of this brick product, the link provided is a bit vague. The front page talks about SIP trunking, so that implies it's all about telephone connectivity. And hence not related to the internet itself. Surely that means you have to already have an Internet connection? If that is the case, would not whatsapp voice calls be just as useful and a lot easier ? I've re-read it a few times and it does not seem to be any product relating to providing remote Internet connectivity??? Seems more like a way to extend your telephone network to a remote one for a business.

See full post
discussion

Automatic extraction of temperature/moon phase from camera trap video

Hey everyone, I'm currently trying to automate the annotation process for some camera trap videos by extracting metadata from the files (mp4 format). I've been tasked to try...

7 0

Hi Lucy

As others have mentioned, camera trap temperature readouts are inaccurate, and you have the additional problem that the camera's temperature can rise 10C if the sun shines on it.

I would also agree with the suggestion of getting the moon phase data off the internet.

 

Do you need to do this for just one project?  And do you use the same camera make/model for every deployment?  Or at least a finite number of camera makes/models?  If the number of camera makes/models you need to worry about is finite, even if it's large, I wouldn't try to solve this for the general case, I would just hard-code the pixel ranges where the temperature/moon information appears in each camera model, so you can crop out the relevant pixels without any fancy processing.  From there it won't be trivial, exactly, but you won't need AI. 

You may need separate pixel ranges for night/day images for each camera; I've seen cameras that capture video with different aspect ratios at night/day (or, more specifically, different aspect ratios for with-flash and no-flash images).  If you need to determine whether an image is grayscale/color (i.e., flash/no-flash), I have a simple heuristic function for this that works pretty well.

Assuming you can manually define the relevant pixel ranges, which should just take a few minutes if it's less than a few dozen camera models, I would extract the first frame of each video to an image, then crop out the temperature/moon pixels.

Once you've cropped out the temperature/moon information, for the temperature, I would recommend using PyTesseract (an OCR library) to read the characters.  For the moon information... I would either have a small library of images for all the possible moon phases for each model, and match new images against those, or maybe - depending on the exact style they use - you could just, e.g., count the total number of white/dark pixels in that cropped moon image, and have a table that maps "percentage of white pixels" to a moon phase.  For all the cameras I've seen with a moon phase icon, this would work fine, and would be less work than a template matching approach.

FYI I recently wrote a function to do datetime extraction from camera trap images (it would work for video frames too), but there I was trying to handle the general case where I couldn't hard-code a pixel range.  That task was both easier and harder than what you're doing here: harder because I was trying to make it work for future, unknown cameras, but easier because datetimes are relatively predictable strings, so you know when you find one, compared to, e.g., moon phase icons.

In fact maybe - as others have suggested - extracting the moon phase from pixels is unnecessary if you can extract datetimes (either from pixels or from metadata, if your metadata is reliable).

camtrapR has a function that does what you want. i have not used it myself but it seems straightforward to use and it can run across directories of images:

https://jniedballa.github.io/camtrapR/reference/OCRdataFields.html

See full post
discussion

Data integration platforms

Anyone working in data integration or know of any other existing tools such as Palantir or Vulcan's EarthRanger?

10 0

Argos has an API 

Iridium data either arrives via email/server IP

Globalstar (unknown)
 


If you'd like the web services document for Argos, shoot me an email (tgray at woodsholegroup - dotcom).

See full post
discussion

TWS2023 - get in touch

Hi, I'll stick around at the TWS2023 Louisville with our friends from e-obs to do some live Firetail demos and discuss your ideas and requirements. Would be great to get in...

1 1

I'm registered with the TWS2023 app, so feel free to nudge me there as well

See full post
discussion

Payment for ecosystem services - mobile money case study?

Hello everyone! I'm writing an article for the GSMA's flagship annual report on the intersection of mobile money and payment for ecosystem services. I'm looking to...

4 1

The folks at AB Entheos in Nairobi are also looking at wild life damage insurance https://ab-entheos.co.ke/

See full post
discussion

DeepFaune: a software for AI-based identification of mammals in camera-trap pictures and videos

Hello everyone, just wanted to advertise here the DeepFaune initiative that I lead with Vincent Miele. We're building AI-based species recognition models for camera-trap...

6 4

Hello to all, new to this group. This is very exciting technology. can it work for ID of individual animals? we are interested in Ai for identifying individual jaguars (spots) and andean Bears (face characteristics). Any recommendation? contact? thanks!

German

That's a very interesting question and use case (I'm not from deepfaune). I'm playing with this at the moment and intend to integrate it into my other security software that can capture and send video alerts. I should have this working within a few weeks I think.

The structure of that software is that it is two stage, the first stage identifies that there is an animal and it's bounding box and then there's a classification stage. I intend to merge the two stages so that it behaves like a yolo model so that the output is bounding boxes as well as what type of animal it is.

However, my security software can cascade models. So if you were able to train a single stage classifier that identifies your particular bears, then you could cascade all of these models in my software to generate an alert with a video saying which bear it was.

Hi @GermanFore ,

I work with the BearID Project on individual identification of brown bears from faces. More recently we worked on face detection across all bear species and ran some tests with identifying Andean bears. You can find details in the paper I linked below. We plan to do more work with Andean bears in 2024.

I would love to connect with you. I'll send you a message with my email address.

Regards,

Ed

See full post