Internet of Elephants
European Design Award
Data-based documentary

The challenge

Internet of Elephants is a social enterprise based in Kenya and the United States. They are a collaboration of technologists, conservationists, educators, game designers, and strategists working together towards creating a stronger connection between people and wild animals.

Animal migration is becoming an increasingly endangered phenomenon. To better understand human impact on animal movement and the barriers they encounter, conservationists must rely on data. Visualizing migration patterns gives scientists a view into migration struggles but also allows exploration of wildlife protection solutions.

Value delivered

An engaging, short, data-based documentary that highlights the importance of gathering high-quality, GPS data from animals to protect wildlife.

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We analyzed the GPS data from three different groups of animals to discover interesting patterns in their journeys and routes. The animation follows three wild animals — elephants, lions and wildebeest — uncovering their stories through data collected from their GPS collars. 

With our documentary, we reveal their incredible migration and the unfortunate man-made obstacles they face in their quest for survival.

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Once we pinpointed the three different animals on which to focus, we began with outlining their stories, sketching storyboards, and determining the look and feel of the animations.

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With the aid of height-maps and satellite imagery, we recreated the African landscapes in 3D onto which we plotted the data. The animations follow the animals across the landscapes highlighting their chosen routes and illustrating the choices behind their behavior. A team of conservationists offered their expertise and provided us with context to these treks.

The story of Manyara follows a 26-year-old elephant living on Manyara Ranch, a privately owned, protected area in Tanzania. Her tracking data tells us that she regularly makes a risky crossing over a highway to reach a salt pan and satisfy her craving for sodium.

Sisters Fleur and Valentine are two lionesses living in Soysambu Conservancy, separated when a new fence is erected and divides their territory. Their data illustrate the confrontation between the natural world and human obstructions.

We accompany Neatoo on her journey during the great migration. Mysteriously, Neatoo leaves her herd and joins millions of other wildebeests to graze on the fresh pastures in the Serengeti. The following year, she rejoins her herd back in the north.

We received data files from each animal containing GPS collar data, with data points referencing movement at regular intervals.

Once we had removed inconsistencies and interpolated between missing references, we processed the data in Python to generate images, graphs and videos of the animals’ journeys.

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Internet of Elephants approached CLEVER°FRANKE with a single request — help us tell the story of an elephant, wildebeest, and lion using only the GPS data gathered from tracking collars they wear. But do it in a way that would appeal to all people, not just scientists or animal lovers. We were very happy with the entire lifecycle of working with the C°F team — from the inception of the project to the creative process, to the final product and inevitable tiny tweaks and requests at the end. We’ve received many compliments on the videos and even though this was just meant to be a proof of concept, it has the look and feel of a polished final product. We are always proud to show the work.

Gautam Shah / CEO & Founder, Internet of Elephants

Photo of Thomas Clever

Get in touch

If you’d like to learn more about how we can add value to your business, contact Thomas Clever. 6 19 55 29 81

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