The Global View

Polar bears pose for pics over interwebby

bearq1.jpgThis is more of a wildlife story than one that’s central to Greenbang’s aims.

But it’s still damned cool.

Scientists and wildlife fiends are using remote cameras in sub-zero temperatures on the shores of Canada to track the movement of polar bears.

The digital system was set up by SeeMore Wildlife Systems – a company that is helping researchers from the University of Florida to film the dwindling number of polar bears as they prepared to head off to the Arctic for the winter.

RealVNC also helped the project along.

The project comprised an IP-based network system of digital microwave links to transmit images across the tundra from Cape Churchill cameras to the remote town of Churchill, which was in turn connected to the control centre in Alaska via the Internet. The work also involved a hi-tech Tundra Buggy™ that fed live Polar Bear Cam streaming video through a 45MB wireless link to the town of Churchill and then to the National Geographic website via the Internet.

“As the cameras were unmanned and powered by methanol fuel cells, it would have been virtually impossible to keep the system running without using VNC,” said Emmy Award winning wildlife filmmaker Daniel Zatz of SeeMore Wildlife Systems. “VNC provided full control and monitoring of the camera network and remote PC server in Churchill from the relative warmth and luxury of project HQ in Alaska.”

The project in Hudson Bay was part of a larger effort led by Polar Bears International.