Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Talking with owls using mobile phones

This project explores technologies to augment our understanding of bird populations in order to allow these populations to speak to us about their habitat. In particular, in a collaboration between the MIT Media Laboratory and Maine Audubon, the researchers use cellular technology to augment the process by which volunteers collect information for an annual owl survey in Maine.

The core methodology was developed in a regional pilot census of Connecticut's owl population demonstrating that the audio quality of cell phones is sufficient for the discovery and interaction with owls.

In Maine, they plan to deploy cell nodes for calling and recording owls, and provide an interface for the public to vicariously participate in the census from the internet. They hope to gain insight into the social networking processes of collaborative interpretation and annotation of a shared database; and knowledge representation for the bird-census domain.

The cellular-based survey may also provide insights into the hearing range of owls, duplication of vocalizing individual responses in adjacent experiment sites, the response rate of owls due to current weather or human presence, and comparison between trigger-based and naturally occurring responses in surveys.

The Owl project's web site.
This work is created by Dale Joachim, Susan Gallo , Glorianna Davenport.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle

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