Technology
Scientists scaling up the data collection of The Great Barrier Reef

Scientists scaling up the data collection of The Great Barrier Reef

 

 

Image: Grumpy Turtle Creative

Due to the large geographic range of the Great Barrier Reef – roughly the same size as Italy – researchers have routinely collected data from only about 5–10% of the reef.

To increase data collection, the Barrier Reef Conservation Organization Citizens launched a census project of the Great Barrier Reef in November.

The project aims to assist tourists as well as visitors and divers, capturing large-scale reconnaissance data from the Great Barrier Reef, including science, research and trade.

One phase of the project saw more than 14,000 images collected of about 170 reefs – more than double what was originally anticipated – across 680 different sites from the far southern Sven Reefs in Cape York. Of those images, a Dell device to capture images of about 6,000 reels was presented by purpose-built ships.

“If you put [the distance travelled] Against the US side, it would go from the top of Seattle to the bottom of Mexico’s border. We are talking about such a range, ”citizens of Great Barrier Reef CEO Andy Ridley told Jednet.

“We also detected a shipwreck in the north in the 1840s. This way you not only get an idea of ​​how big the place is, but you can still find a shipbuilder who has been around for 200 years. From there. “

Currently, those pictures are being analyzed in real-time as part of phase two of the census project. The team involved in analyzing the images have been described as “citizen scientists” – everyday people around the world – who are performing their roles to support conservation and coral recovery.

Users are encouraged to select a reef image and “color-in” where they see key elements, such as coral, sand, and debris.

On average, a citizen receives 1,500 unique visitors per day to its census website, which comes from more than half from the US, Australia, and then Europe and Asia.

“Through a fairly novel analysis technique, we’re asking people to trace around what they see in the image. We categorize them and say, ‘Is this coral a rock? Is it hard?’ What does coral or soft coral look like? ” … And we collect polygon data from him, ”said Som Meiden, a citizen of the Great Barrier Reef Technologist.

“It helps give us a sense of reef makeup, which is going to help us train computer vision models to better identify these types of images.

“Traditional survey imagery is of very close one-to-one-meter distance types. We are trying to use the seascape imagery that a tourist or another person might feel and be able to get meaningful data from. Is. We essentially. Baseline against research data, so we have a good idea of ​​what it means. “

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Picture: Citizens of Great Barrier Reef

To date, only more than 6,000 analyzes have been completed by the public so far, while half of the uploaded images have also been analyzed by researchers. The goal is to analyze all images by the end of April.

“We are counting on the general public to help us analyze all of them multiple times and combined with hope, which will give us great insight into what the images tell us but how much citizen science is in this regard Is useful “said.

“As people analyze an image, we’re saying, is this something that has been analyzed by earlier research, and we can actually grade performance. As we build confidence because each People analyze images, we can build a very good profile. Out of this, who is good, who is not, and we can teach them about the reef at the same time. “

Flares up

Helping to ensure the census project online is CloudFair’s Project Galileo, which was founded to help non-profit organizations and artistic groups.

“We are a small team … [of] Now five But there is only one technology person, so there is only so much we can do … We can run a project like a census and thousands of people can kill it in a day, analyze images, and upload images Can, and be very confident that we are not going. To run into any problems, ”Meaden said.

Meaden claimed that since March, through Project Galileo, the organization has viewed 360 grams of data watched over 100 hours of video streams through the Argo Tunnel, with an average response of 75ms, 17,000 images have been secured and served to census participants, and through numerous security incidents where more than 100 requests were made by firewalls.

“It was very helpful [because] All this has been done on a very negligible budget, ”he said.

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Picture: Christian Miller

Ridley emphasized that to run a project like the census efficiently, highly skilled is needed, but it cannot “reduce the load of money”.

“The effort behind Citizens is that we are trying to build a 21st-century conservation organization, so that a vision of a shared economy is needed in which you can scale without the need of billions and billions of dollars ,” They said.

“While it is only currently focusing reconnaissance data on reefs, despite the fact that you are building the infrastructure, you are actually building the ability to do a lot more things in the Great Barrier Reef.

“In theory, if you can get the model right, including technical architecture, then you can scale beyond the Great Barrier beef.”

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef plan to build on the data, methodology and technology developed through the open-sour project at the end of the project.

“Most people in the world think that [the Great Barrier Reef is] Already gone, but it really isn’t; This is a patchwork. You find some places that are so extraordinary and beautiful that you do not know whether you should laugh or cry when you come to the surface…. Then you find other places, which are hard hit by bleaching, runoff, due to climate change.

“To be able to get a really comprehensive picture of what’s going on and to be able to talk about it, it’s really very important because if the world thinks it’s gone, to fight There is not much.

“Obviously, you’re trying to see how you can build resilience in a system similar to the Great Barrier Reef, but many of the lessons you’ve learned here can be applied around the world. What we at Citizen can do We are trying to create content that can be extended and shared around the world. “

A scale-up census is planned to begin in October to survey at least 200 reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, testing the ability of infrastructure to capture reconnaissance data for any other habitat such as seagrass.

The organization has its own sights in other plans which include the inclusion of models on the Western Australia coast or reefs such as Naingalu, a maritime zone in the Western Pacific Ocean that includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, waters of Papi New Guinea. , Timor Leste and Solomon Islands.

The Great Reef Census Project is being distributed in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the University of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences with the support of James Cook University. The project is funded by a partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, The Pre Family Foundation and the Reef and Rainforest Research Center.

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