Climate change is a terrifying prospect for us all, but it’s especially dire for the delicate ecosystems of coral reefs. Marine biologists are worried, and now News.com.au reports that researchers want to use Google’s under-the-sea StreetView to keep an eye on the state of the Great Barrier Reef.
The researchers worked with the Catlin Seaview Survey, which partnered with Google for last year’s rollout of StreetView Oceans. But their work is actually much more involved than mere desktop sightseeing. They’ve also developed an algorithm that allows them to survey images for various species.
You mean we can use higher math for something other than recommending dates and Netflix movies?
Now they want to involve everyone sitting on the Internet. News.com.au reports:
“The project is now being expanded by building citizen science into the research, which he hopes will raise awareness and provide more data. ‘We are planning to involve online citizens to help us count a wide range of organisms that appear in the high-definition images. Anyone with access to a computer will be able to help us log creatures such as stingrays, turtles, fish and Crown of Thorns starfish.'”
Let’s face it, there are worse ways to procrastinate on a slow Thursday afternoon.