Bio-diversity Statistics Platform
The creation of a statistics program, that can be used to compare the largest possible number of environmental and ecological factors that affect individual recorded species. Factors may include things like habitat, food, geographic areas, predator/prey relationships etc, that can be checked for overlap and patterns within and between different species of organisms.
What conservation problem are you trying to solve?
It enables the global and shared use of old and new ecological data to collaborate ideas and allow researchers and environmental organisations around the world to make decisions regarding conservation projects. It will enable us to take into consideration an increased number of the ecological factors that influence species abundance and dispersal, and examine relationships visually, for better management and easier interpretation of data.
How are you going to solve this conservation problem?
This would be like a server, application or a computer program, aimed at (but not limited to) researchers, that enables visual comparison of species in an intereactive way. This allows us to more quickly distinguish patterns occurring in our environment that could be used to direct research and conservation management.
For example, the geographical locations and dietary requirements of a bird, might be compared to that of a deer, in order to decide on whether they could co-exist in the same geographical location. Data on where they are found, what they eat (including the species they eat), their habitats (and species of their habitat if applicable, like tree species) etc can be visually and mathematically compared, using statistical models to quantitatively determine the viability of the species co-existence. The same data could also be compared by time-series to watch the impact that changing ecological factors has on species.
What makes your idea new and unique?
It combines our increasing technological computing power, with the ability to globally collaborate ideas between scientists, researchers and educators.
Current programs dont allow for mass collaboration and sharing of data and ideas. Keeping ecological data private however is going to hold back people from using what we have to solve our environmental crisis. It's not about making money, but saving time and sharing resources to positively impact our planet.
Who will use your idea, and how will they benefit?
Researchers, educators and also the general public can use it for basic or medium level statistical calculations, discover patterns that may provide foresight into the outcome of posed or current research questions and simply allow data to be visualised and veiwed from another perspective for ease of interpretation and better understanding of conservation implications.
What tasks or activities do you need investment for? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?
The idea is in the early stages of development, but I'm hoping to use the grant to cover the majority of the cost of getting the program developed in real life, with program developers here in New Zealand.
Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?
List five other ideas posted in the challenge that excite you. Why?
There were many that did!!
But some, such as Drone Counts, Waspex, Celium Natures Internet, Long Live the Kakapo and Fiduciary Legislation seemed to be well thought out for the most part, and had good potential. I liked these (but a range of others also) for their practicality and applicibility to a range of situations. A few could easily be combined, such as Drone Counts and Celium Natures Internet, to collaborate and make a combined single product/idea.
How could you improve your idea?
- The program will require data checking mechanisms, possibly automatically standardise data in some instances (eg, coverting units) however in cases it can’t, the program user would need this to be recognised when using the data in comparisons etc, so they know the factors being compared may be bias. (Thankyou IngeBolt for the standardising feedback)
- People uploading data can make their data-set restricted access (visible by all but can’t be copied/downloaded) or open-access, used by anyone. This encourages those nervous their data might be exploited/stolen to still use the program, and those not so concerned, to just get the information out there.
- Online storage of data is much more susceptible to hacking/attacks where it might be exploited by those up to no good. I have not yet done enough research on this part yet, but ideally the program is a mixture of both online (for easy discussion making) and offline usage (enables the program to be carried with scientists/researchers etc, who can use the program out on the field conducting research/conservation projects.