Seals and Steals campaigns


The current ‘Satellites over Seals’ campaign, a project run by Dr. Michelle LaRue and her team at the University of Minnesota to assess Weddell seal populations along the entire coast of Antarctica appear to be quite reminiscent of the ‘GlobalXplorer’ or ‘GX’ campaign, ran by Dr. Sarah Parcak and her team from National Geographic/DigitalGlobal to determine evidence of ‘Looting and/or No Looting’ in the South American country of Peru.
The ‘Yes/No’ user interface appears to be identical, well, with the exception of the pastel pink colored polygon, the ability to toggle the polygons on or off and the Yes/No response.
Makes me wonder if this is just a coincidence, that the software interface are similar, with some minor tweaking, here and there or maybe some old dudes’ imagination running amok after looking at seals all day and night, in dire need of another dose of Geritol or perhaps a shot of scotch). Maybe I should let Pan take over for awhile to let my eyes readjust.:panda_face: -ake


They are more than reminiscent of each other! Both GlobalXplorer and Satellites over Seals are using DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod platform for their crowdsourcing data collection. One way to think of this is that the two projects are asking different research questions in different areas of the world, but are using the same technology/methodology to gather data for analysis.

We at DigitalGlobe have been tinkering for some time on the question of how to bring researchers on projects like these high-quality data from crowdsourcing campaigns with citizen scientist volunteers. We have found that the Yes/No model can often bring cleaner data by helping narrow a project’s total search area. Often, depending on the research question, the project will have a second stage focusing on the important features identified in the YES polygons (seals, archaeological sites…)

Thanks for your help with both of these projects.


Thank You for the kind words.
I had the good fortune of being invited by Dr. Parcak, along with some other nodders, to participate in the GX beta trials to evaluate the feasibility of using satellite images from DigitalGlobal to monitor archeological sites from looting and or desecration. Looking forward to any future GX project that may be planned. -ake


Bob, If you’re talking about the Peru campaign for GlobalXplorer, I worked on that one also. Pretty interesting campaign.


Personally, I think it’s easier to wipe out large swaths before concentrating on possibilities. How many hundreds of miles of oceans did we do looking to count boats when WV3 shoulda known hiis shapes by then. How many miles of nice green trees did we cover in Canada’s wildfire before reaching ashes. I took to riding clouds and just slapping my paw downward when I had to place a tag.

Nice to just scootch along on my skis for this, saying, na, na, na, na-na when seeing nada… and when I spot a seal I swat it with a “Mew… must go faster” tag. Mew :cat: (Still orange-- is anyone at Tn gonna change the emoji set? Please?)


Bless you mein sohn for speeding up the page loads. It is as it should be now. Press-zip-page up!


Ah, I’ve been wondering about that; (been away for the week) and noticed just how speedy fast and easy it is to just zoom in/out…its sheer luxury :heart_eyes: I noticed my counters have zeroed and thought it was a new stage of the campaign :thinking:

Scratch that second bit, the counter is back to full figures :rofl: Just goes to show how much attention I pay to it :roll_eyes: