Biodiversity research at the amateur level
"The model assists both citizen scientists and validators with the identification of species."
Within the work area of biodiversity research, an important goal is to support citizen science initiatives concerned with biodiversity research that could benefit from automatic species identification.
Recognizing 16,148 species
One of the first results of this collaboration is the application of deep learning to the identification of species from pictures taken in the field. This type of picture poses unique problems due to the complex appearance of the species and the background in the picture. For the project, several models were developed based on a subset of Observation.org's Dutch and Belgian observations database. Several million observations covering 16,148 species and subspecies were used.
Sites and apps
The resulting image recognition models are implemented in the workflow of Waarneming.nl, the site of the Dutch branch of Observation.org, assisting both citizen scientists and validators with the identification of species. Additionally, the models have been deployed as the backbone of a series of apps, further assisting citizen scientists with identifications in the field. These apps were explicitly designed to work offline - without a Wi-Fi or data connection - thus extending their usability.
TDWG 2018 presentation (PDF)
- Deze app helpt je insecten te herkennen, VTM Nieuws, 19 September 2017 (in Dutch; includes video demonstrating the use of ObsIdentify)