Academics help NGOs get up to speed with digital tech

How would a smartphone have helped Charles Darwin photograph and sort through his animal pics while on the move in the Galapagos islands? We can only speculate. Could naturalist Alexander von Humboldt have benefited from Google maps when he climbed the volcanoes in the Andes? We will never know. But there’s no doubt digital technology is making a difference for those protecting the natural diversity that the two explorers first recorded in the 19th century.

For the big players in both arenas – digital technology and environmentalism – cooperation has become a well trodden path in recent years. Think of Google using its big data power in an attempt to map planet Earth’s entire known biodiversity – also and especially including threatened species and habitats. Or the WWF’s Wildlife Crime Technology Project that uses digital monitoring to track down poachers.

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