NASA Algorithm Used to Identify and Track Whale Sharks

An international research project tracking whale sharks is being praised as a unique collaboration

An international research project tracking whale sharks is being praised as a unique collaboration using ‘citizen science’ and NASA technology.

The project relied on people sending in photos, taken over many years in locations around the world, which were then analysed against other pictures.

Lead author and Murdoch University Associate Doctor Bradley Norman said the information gained helped track the whale sharks.

“A great example of citizen science where members of the public can play a really positive and active role in monitoring our wildlife, in this case, whale sharks,” he said.

The researchers used a modified version of a NASA algorithm developed to recognise star patterns to help identify the animals.

The technology allowed a scan of a photo to be matched with a previous photo.

Dr Norman said the white spot patterns over dark blue-grey are not unlike stars in the night sky.

Photo: Michael Liao/Unsplash

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

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