Today I spent about 30 minutes classifying whale tails from the comfort of my own home.
Yes, you read correctly!
Zooniverse is a website where you can take part in research. I just found this site through another website called “Help From Home” – more on that in a later blog post – and I was directed to a project on whales called “Whales as Individuals“.
In the “Whales as Individuals” project, you are guided through photos of the tails of Humpback whales. In each photo you are asked to do three things:
- Crop the whale tails in the photo
- State the colour (white, black, or a mixture) of the tail
- Pinpoint the tail tips and the middle of the tail
It’s easy to learn and you are guided through the process with help files and examples including photos that have already been classified.
It only took me about 5 minutes to figure it out and then I was off and running. And when I next looked at the clock, 30 minutes had passed.
Best of all, you can sign up for an account so you can keep track of all the projects you’ve worked on – AND, if you so choose, you can even give them your real name so that you will be mentioned in any research papers for the project.
Check it out – I hope you have as great a time as I did – a whale of a time!