A cetacean monitoring system that integrates citizen science and satellite imagery
Various methods have been adopted for monitoring marine megafauna and cetaceans in particular. Most of them rely on direct observation and have strong limitations: they are expensive and time-consuming; they allow monitoring only at small spatial and temporal scales; they require specialised technical staff. Satellite imagery to detect and count marine mammals from the space has become feasible. In the last years, the spectral, spatial and temporal accuracy of very high resolution satellites have improved, allowing to conduct censuses and to produce valid population estimates for some species. With the appearance of Web 2.0, ubiquitous computing and the related technological advancements, the different networks enable the general public to contribute, disseminate and exchange information. The use of data collected by citizen science projects is now ubiquitous, but still presents some challenges that need to be addressed. A major issue is that data collected by the public must be validated. We present a model for real-time monitoring of cetaceans by combining the citizen science and satellite image processing with the main link defined as location–time.