Geospatial tool to monitor penguins

Geospatial tool to monitor penguins


Argentina: A small group of researchers under the direction of Dr. Dee Boersma, Professor of Biology at the University of Washington, is following individual penguins, monitoring the Magellanic penguin colony and developing the data needed to plan effective conservation efforts, as well as to try and understand the importance of penguins as indicators of global climate change and the health of the environment.

In order to collect this data, a geospatially intelligent, multimedia-capable data collection application was needed that could run on rugged field computers.  One of the biggest challenges they faced was the vast amount of data they collected that then had to be manually entered into their database. Hence, the team has chosen Touch Inspect, a geospatially intelligent inspection and data collection tool with multi-media capabilities, to help unburden them from their massive data collection process.  

Touch Inspect was developed by Colorado-based mobile application developer Mobile Epiphany.
It will allow them to gather data in the field and have it upload to their database via the internet, which they say will be much more efficient than their current system.

Eleanor Lee informed that their database is extremely difficult and non-intuitive. They also use a lot of codes in the field, for the sake of time and space. It takes a lot of time to train people at the beginning of each field season. Touch Inspect is beginner-friendly. Ideally, they will be able to hand a brand-new field worker a Trimble YUMA equipped with Touch Inspect and send them out to the field. Since it is question and answer based, they’ll be walked through it without extensive instruction beforehand. One can do away with codes and can have notes that elaborate on questions. That would be huge plus for researchers.

Magellanic Penguin Project is a joint project between the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Province of Chubut and the University of Washington. It was launched in 1982 in Punto Tombo, Argentina.  The project trains the next generation of conservation biologists, gathers the scientific information needed to inform decision-makers and helps in protection and management of Magellanic penguin colonies.

Source: Mobile Epiphany