Dutch social enterprise uses data for conservation
David Northmore, VP EMEA, MarkLogic, discusses the use of data to fight against poaching in Europe and Africa.
The battle to save the world’s most endangered species garnered international media attention earlier this year with news of the last male northern white rhino’s death. In fact, three of the five species of rhinoceros are now critically endangered, according to The World Wildlife Fund.
Much of the problem is caused by poaching, and it’s obviously not just rhinos that are at risk. Central Africa for example has lost as much as 64% of the area’s elephants in the last few years as a result of such illegal activity. While huge efforts are being made in the fight for conservation and there’s no doubt that technology has a significant role to play, it’s also clear that a technology gap still hinders the ability of many NGOs, governments and rangers on the ground from adequately protecting endangered animals.
The individuals tasked with this responsibility are frequently biologists and conservationists without technology backgrounds. On the other hand, poachers are often incredibly well resourced; using sophisticated weapons, tracking equipment and sometimes even helicopters to poach elephants, rhinos and other endangered species.
However, thankfully this technology gap is starting to be plugged, and one specific way is through better capture, integration and use of data. Dutch social enterprise, Sensing Clues is doing just this, having developed sophisticated, industry-leading sensor technology in collaboration with several organisations, including MarkLogic, with the aim of protecting endangered wildlife.
The technology has already been put into the hands of rangers and conservationists across Africa and Europe with encouraging results. One project has seen Sensing Clues develop an early warning system for rangers tasked with protecting elephants from poachers in Kenya. The system, a data hub framework, combines a number of different technologies: smart IoT sensors to detect human activity in remote locations, storage and management of complex data sets, analytical intelligence for spatial awareness and response coordination technologies; all driven by modern NoSQL database technology.
As part of the system, sound sensors can also distinguish between different types of vehicles and weapons, while light sensors deployed across large uninhabited spaces can pick up humans using artificial light sources. The technology also enables rangers to produce and easily analyse and understand enormous data sets. With this 360-degree view of data they can now easily see when people are entering restricted areas, enabling them to react more quickly to threats.
Similar technology is also being deployed in Sweden and the Netherlands where the poaching of wolves is a serious problem. These countries are now starting to see a slight resurgence in the wolf population, which has also been impacted by habitat encroachment due to over-population.
However, the deployment of this kind of technology is not only limited to the fight against poaching. Nepal only has around 250 tigers left in the wild, with road accidents one of the biggest causes of tiger deaths in the country. Another project led by Sensing Clues has seen IoT sensors deployed along roads in Nepal’s Bardiya National Park, which produce data sets around the behaviours of drivers. As a result, rangers are able to analyse the data and understand the danger spots for tigers, subsequently steering the animals away from these areas and also diverting drivers.
The sensor technology being used in these innovative projects can also detect various metrics such as artificial light, radio frequencies, thermal heat and noises, which can alert rangers to the presence of poachers or companies conducting illegal activities such as dumping waste in protected areas. And, because the sensors are smart, they can make intelligent determinations about the incoming data, including distinguishing between domesticated and wild animals.
It’s clear that without access to such technology, rangers have little chance in being able to mitigate the threats they are confronted with each day. Areas of land are quite simply too vast, and boots on the ground too few. However, as Sensing Clues have shown, the tide is starting to slowly turn.
One of the keys to ensuring the ongoing success of such projects is integrating all types of data from different sources or silos, as we can see from how Sensing Clues is able to take information from beyond one sensor and gain a 360-degree view of the situation. If there is one lesson that can be learned from this, it’s that data really does matter, and so does the technology behind it.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.