'Whale Shark Network Maldives' takes spot-pattern recognition technology that has long since been the preserve of scientists and puts it in the hand of anyone with a mobile device. It’s hoped this app could accelerate the study of the world’s largest fish and provide a blueprint for other conservation organisations keen to harness the power of the ordinary tourist or keen amateur naturalist in helping gather truly useful field data.
How does it work? Use a picture of the whale shark you’ve taken with your phone/tablet or sent wirelessly from a camera. From here you’re guided through a fun pattern-recognition process to reveal the name and vital stats of your individual shark. You can then follow updates on ‘your’ shark whenever and wherever it pops up, potentially years and thousands of miles later.
This app is your window to the world of whale sharks in the Maldives. Whether you’re planning a trip or reminiscing there’s lot’s more useful information to browse through; our ‘Shark Feed’ will keep you up to date with every encounter. Use the map function to plot your shark encounters, browse through the 300+ register of whale shark individuals and keep an eye on weekly, monthly and all time summaries!
The pattern-comparison algorithm used in the "Who's that Whale Shark" feature was originally developed by Jurgen den Hartog and Renate Reijns for their popular photo ID software, I3S.