Free Identification Tool
This project will develop a completely free, open source and user-friendly software tool to allow the researcher to compare photos of individuals against a large photo database. The tool will be number four in a family of successful identification tools (the I³S family: Interactive Intelligent Identification System) and suitable for animals without isolated spots but with specific patterns, e.g. sea turtles, goliath groupers, or the markings on whale tails.
Why this is important:
As marine photo identification databases grow to hundreds or even thousands of individuals, the manual matching process will cost increasing amounts of valuable time and loose accuracy as well. For many marine biologists the efficiency of their research is seriously obstructed by the absence of tools to assist the identification of individual animals from photos.
This project focuses on developing I³S Pattern (I³S stands for Interactive Intelligent Identification System, a tool to support researchers in their conservation activities. As such the project proposed in this document is not targeted on a specific species. Development will initially take place on a turtle photo database, however, broader application will always be one of the main goals. During development we will therefore also work with a database of at least one other species (e.g. humpback whales) in this way ensuring a generically applicable product.
Many species, including many marine turtles are endangered. The tool to be developed will support the researchers involved in their conservation activities. We asked various researchers who will benefit from the tool the following question: “Do you think there is a demand for a photo-identification tool [targeted to animals with specific dark/light patterns]?” The answers were: “Yes.” (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles), “Absolutely.” (Pacific Whale Foundation), “Yes, no doubt about it!” (HEPCA).
I³S already helps marine researchers all over the world in their conservational research on a daily basis for free. This project will simply help us to do this for more species and more researchers.
Aims and Objectives
The objectives of this project are as follows:
- Development of an I3S tool for animals with dark/light patterns, initially for but certainly not limited to turtles.
- Development of a recognition strategy and algorithm based on broadly applicable features which are used for recognition.
- Design of a user interaction scenario which is simple, fast and does not allow much or any training.
- Professional implementation of the software, including a manual and tutorial videos.
- Validation of the system on two separate data sets.
1. On your website (www.reijns.com/i3s) is mentioned that you own small enterprises. So you are not marine biologist? No, not at all. We have a background in computer science, pattern recognition, biometrics and astrophysics. A nice combination for this work,…
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