Satellite Stories: wildlife movement data brought to life

When you watch a wildlife documentary on tv, or you go on safari, you only get a glimpse of the daily life of animals living in the wild. But what happens when the camera’s stop rolling and the game drive vehicles head back to camp for the night? What are animals up to when we are not watching?

We’ve teamed up with Internet of Elephants on a project supported by the National Geographic Society to show you “Satellite Stories”, an interactive data visualisation series showing a week in the life of Ol Pejeta’s wildlife, as told through their movement data.

Based on the actual populations of 12 different species, ranging from the elusive aardwolf to the hundreds of zebras roaming the plains, Satellite Stories Ol Pejeta is based on real data and realistic models of how these animals move through the Conservancy, live their daily lives, and exhibit some unique behaviour.

So dive in and explore this fascinating hotspot of wildlife. Find out which animals are active during the day, which only come out at night, which travel the furthest, and which like to stay closer to home. The more you explore, the more patterns will emerge, each telling its own story of how animals live within their natural ecosystem and the man made structures that influence them.

Storytelling through data: how does it work?
Data collected on wildlife for scientific purposes can hold immense value for the communication of conservation efforts to a wider audience. Through Satellite Stories, we aim to show how data and stories can be made accessible and interesting for people across the world, who can now dive into the diversity of an entire conservancy. Here is how they do it;

STEP 1: DATA MINING. IoE and Ol Pejeta worked together to collect wildlife data on the different species in the conservancy.

STEP 2: MAKING THE MAP. By overlaying the data on a timeline of one week superimposed on a map, a bird’s eye view emerges that provides unprecedented insight into the animal activity in the conservancy.

STEP 3: TELLING STORIES. IoE highlighted seven stories which emerged from the data, such as “Border Control” which tells the story of life near the fences, or “An Elephant Never Forgets”, about a crop raiding elephant.

Satellite Stories is the first in a series of interactive data visualizations featuring other biodiversity hotspots around the world, that Internet of Elephants will be creating over the course of the next year.

For the best experience, please view Satellite Stories in your desktop/laptop browser. A mobile version is in the works.