The Digital Bushmen

What happens when you mix ancient Bushmen knowledge with the latest in drone technology? Our experiment of joining these two very opposite worlds presents a completely new way of counting wildlife.

By Matthew Parkan and Sonja Betschart

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Namibia 2.0: Nature conservation revisited

Exactly one year after our first mission to Namibia for the SAVMAP project, a team made up of Drone Adventures, EPFL’s LASIG lab and Kuzikus Wildlife Reserve came together again in the Southern African savanna from May 16 to 23, 2015 to apply last year’s findings and push the limits of civilian drone use for nature conservation applications one step further.

Protecting endangered animals like the Black Rhino and plants like the endemic and fascinating Welwitschia mirabilis, proposing new ways of managing land sustainably in semi-arid savannas and finding new approaches to counting wildlife were all important topics on our agenda this year.

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Namibia’s savanna classified: from drone imagery to Vegetation Base Maps

Timothée Produit of EPFL’s LASIG lab was part of our Namibian mission in May 2014. During the mission, Tim gave lectures both at the Polytechnic of Namibia as well as at the Gobabeb Research & Training Center on how to use the acquired drone imagery to classify terrain. Once all the imagery of the mission had been processed back home in Switzerland, Tim went on to use our data for classification purposes.

In this blog, Tim and his colleague Matthew Parkan show us how to use multi-spectral imagery acquired by the eBee and converted to NIR and RGB orthomosaics with Pix4Dmapper to create vegetation base maps.

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Tim giving a lecture at Gobabeb Research & Training Center on Vegetation Indexes

 

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