We’re proud to announce our founder & CEO Gautam Shah has been selected as a National Geographic Explorer!
The National Geographic Society awards grants for conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology through its Committee for Research and Exploration. All proposed projects must be novel and exploratory, and be of broad interest. National Geographic Society grant-funded projects should be bold, innovative, and transformative. We are really excited that National Geographic believes our work meets those criteria. Apart from the fact that Gautam can now flaunt this pretty cool new title on his resume, it comes with a modest grant that enables IoE to do more research and development on the use of data and tech for storytelling to benefit conversation!
We will use the National Geographic grant to create an interactive data visualization that depicts the biodiversity of a wildlife conservation area by providing a bird's eye view of the populations, densities, and movements of the animals that live within it. We are partnering with Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya as the pilot and hope that it catalyzes to the creation of 20 more of these visualizations for biodiversity hotspots around the world, a project we call ‘Animals from above’.
Imagine if your superpower was to be able to fly above the great biodiversity hotspots of the world with hawk like vision and see each and every creature below you and how they move in relation to their environment, each other, and other different creatures. Imagine if you could speed up or slow down time, so you could see the patterns over seasons? Would you wonder at the abundance, scarcity and patterns of our natural world? Would it inspire you to dive deeper and learn more?
Animals from Above is a production from Internet of Elephants that aims to find out how we can use data from a particular region to interest a wider audience in conservation. The projects output will be a set of stunning data visualizations to simulate what the best type of engagement might look like, giving all audiences the bird’s eye view of life at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Central Kenya.
Animals from Above will feature:
- Interactive controls – user can zoom in/out, speed up/down, and choose which animals to visualize.
- Animal populations, densities and movements based on the knowledge of local experts.
- Vegetation, landmarks, roads, rivers, and other topographical features of Ol Pejeta.
- Annotations to call out interesting stories and 'moments'.
- A full animation time of approximately 3 minutes.
- High production value such as in our "Stories of the Wild" series.
Our data scientist Raff Mares will travel to Ol Pejeta conservancy this spring to gather data on site. We aim to publish Animals from Above in July 2018. Follow our progress through Instagram and Twitter!