Australian researchers are using this impressive bit of camera equipment to capture 360-degree underwater images of how coral reefs are being affected by human activity.
To date they’ve taken more than a million photos from 860 reefs around the world and made them freely available to scientists via the University of Queensland (UQ) data repository.
“A key obstacle to managing coral reefs is being able to detect how coral reefs are changing, which requires having an appropriate baseline,” says UQ project leader Ove Hoegh-Guldberg.
“Our project developed new technologies for rapidly surveying coral reefs, which improves our ability to determine the condition and composition of reefs, allowing us to better understand how reefs are being impacted by human activities.”
With each survey typically producing around 1500 images, the team from UQ and not-for-profit organisation Underwater Earth developed machine-learning techniques to classify then analyse them.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.