As conservation areas everywhere are asked to do more with less, our friends at Mara Elephant Project (MEP) asked the EarthRanger development team if it’s possible to reap the benefit of real-time tracking in light of hardware barriers and training challenges. The result is a new mobile application for the EarthRanger platform, EarthRanger Track, which functions as a real-time tracking device. This opens the door for more protected areas to receive some of the benefits of a satellite or radio based system with an Android device.
“We hope that this is a game changer for conservation organizations, opening up new possibilities for organizations without the budget or infrastructure for more expensive, trackable equipment,” said Jes Lefcourt, EarthRanger Product Manager at Vulcan Inc. “This is a wonderful example of advances that can quickly be made when conservation organizations collaborate on the creation of technology solutions. We are extremely appreciative of our partnership with the Mara Elephant Project.”
The Director of Research and Conservation at MEP, Dr. Jake Wall, teamed up with EarthRanger to gather requirements, write code, test and validate the application. As an early adopter of EarthRanger, all of MEP’s data sets are input into EarthRanger, which streamlines their processes for useful and secure data collection and analysis.
“EarthRanger Track enables us to track rangers and vehicles using readily available Android devices. Without a digital radio network in place, this is a great option for us to monitor the vast area we cover as well as collect valuable data while in the field,” expands Jake Wall from Mara Elephant Project. “I’m excited to see how the EarthRanger team will continue to expand its ecosystem.”
As EarthRanger Track (above) records GPS data, the EarthRanger Platform (below) shows the device’s location in real-time.
How it works:
EarthRanger Track allows for the tracking of the location of an Android device as a subject in EarthRanger, similar to the way that EarthRanger integrates digital radios, vehicle trackers and personal GPS devices.
- If the device has a data connection its location is reported in real-time and it is immediately shown on the EarthRanger map.
- If no connection is available, it stores your track so that the EarthRanger history can be updated as soon as the device is reconnected.
How to get started:
To start, you will need an active EarthRanger account (available from Vulcan, free of charge for conservation missions). For existing customers, the administrator of the EarthRanger account will need to set up the ranger accounts. More information can be found in the EarthRanger Track User Guide on the EarthRanger website.
Download the app on the Google Play store!