Software for automated photo-id of cobras
The picture on this page illustrates the process of scanning patterns from photos showing the dorsal surface of the hood of an cobra. By fitting a 3D surface model to the image the program captures a pattern that is unaffected by the camera angle. The program then compares the new pattern with previous patterns stored in a library and displays the most likely matches. The final match decision is left to the user. The resulting database of match results can be used to provide the usual benefits of mark/recapture studies such as the monitoring of population size and other parameters.
John Worthington_Hill, NCBS, Bangalore
To try out the software first unzip the following "cobras_folders.zip" file to your harddrive, where it will make a "c:\cobras\" folder with a number of subfolders containing sample images and pattern extracts (remember to click the "use folder names" option). The "c:\cobra\" folder will also contain an Access database called "cobras.mdb" and a "Usage.pdf" document explaining the process of entering new images, extracting patterns from those images and comparing the patterns to the library in order to search for earlier images of the same animal.
Then open the "ExtractCompare_install.zip" file and double-click the "setup.exe" program. Please answer "yes" to retain any files that would otherwise be overwritten by older files.
When installation is complete click on "cobras.mdb" in Windows Explorer or make a shortcut to the database file. Then please follow the steps in the "Getting started" section of the "Usage.pdf" document to see how the sytem is run to search a catalogue for matches to a new photograph and to test its performance. Please do not add, delete or rename any files or folders in the "c:\cobras\" folder except for those in the "c:\cobras\download_photos\" folder, which is used to hold new photographs that are to be added to the system.