Snapshot Wisconsin: NASA on board for largest wildlife trail cam project ever

snapshot wisconsin nasa 37377204 m
The State of Wisconsin and NASA are joining forces to blanket America’s Dairyland with over 5,000 outdoor trail cameras, with the hopes of documenting the wildlife of the state undisturbed in its natural habitats.

Snapshot Wisconsin, as the project has been named, is “an unprecedented effort to capture in space and time the deer, bears, elk, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, and any other wild animal that lumbers, hops, lopes or slithers across the Badger state,” according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the school leading the charge on this project. “Snapshot Wisconsin aims to provide one of the richest and most comprehensive caches of wildlife data for any spot on our planet.”

So far, over 500 motion-sensing cameras have been placed in strategic locations as part of the Snapshot Wisconsin initiative, which officially kicked off May 17, with more being added by volunteers over the coming months. About 5,000 cameras will be placed overall.

Some of you may be wondering how NASA plays into all of this, as were we when DT first came across the news. The answer actually makes a ton of sense, as each of the cameras being placed are equipped with GPS, and the data collected will be paired with NASA’s vast databank of satellite imagery and other potentially relevant data. This will allow researchers to monitor animal movements and migration habits in ways that were previously impossible.

A common way to track animal movements currently is by expensive plane flights, and this only works on larger animals who travel in groups or are easy to pick out from high altitudes. Another common tool is radio collars, but this requires capturing the animal. Snapshot Wisconsin could soon render such flights or collars obsolete.

The images will be collected every so often by volunteers and uploaded to Zooniverse, where the identification of the animals captured will be crowdsourced by more than 8,200 registered “citizen scientists” who have helped to identify and classify over 250,000 animals to date. One of the biggest holes in our observation of animals over the years has been out inability to truly track their movements across a range area to the level that this project will make possible.

Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.

Think crypto’s dead? JPMorgan to offer first cryptocurrency backed by a U.S. bank

J.P. Morgan Chase is making history by rolling out a trial, over the next few months, of the first cryptocurrency, dubbed JPM Coin, which is backed by a large United States bank.
Emerging Tech

After Kepler kicks the bucket, NASA releases its final image

The final images from the Kepler Space Telescope have arrived. After nearly a decade of operation, NASA’s groundbreaking telescope ran out of fuel last year and was placed into permanent sleep mode on October 30, 2018.

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.