Internet of Elephants is a social enterprise based in Kenya and the United States of America. 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 free movement and the barriers animals encounter, conservationists must rely on data. Visualizing migration patterns gives scientists a view into migration struggles and allows exploration of wildlife protection solutions.
An engaging, short, data-based animated documentary that highlights the importance of gathering high-quality, GPS data from animals to protect wildlife.
We explored and analyzed the vast amounts GPS data from conservation organizations. This boiled down to a selection of three groups of animals that showed interesting patterns in their migration journeys to build narrative around. The final animation follows the journey of three wild animals — elephants, lions and wildebeest — uncovering their stories through data collected from their GPS collars. These individual stories each show the impact of humans on the livable habitat and free movement of these animals.
With our documentary, we reveal their incredible migration and the unfortunate man-made obstacles they face in their quest for survival.
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.
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.
On the cusp of a journey that’s likely to change the face of the environmental sector forever.
The goal is to connect more people with the daily lives of animals and raise support for conservation efforts.
With the right mechanism for hooking and engaging the audience, we believe we can multiply the number of wildlife enthusiasts around the world.