After several years of chaos and heavy effort, we here at Wild Me are happy to say that we are finally releasing the new Codex code base.
Over a decade ago, Jason Holmberg started this work as part of a pet project in studying whale sharks. He had a hunch that building a data set from diverse sources, sharing between academics and field researchers and anyone else who wanted to contribute, could result in better results faster, and could lead to changes that could help humans make informed decisions, living with the world and understanding our impact on it.
That hunch paid off. Users leveraged a star mapping algorithm to map the spots on whale sharks, tracking individuals across oceans and time. Insights in social and migration behavior came to light, and more and more users flocked to provide and learn from what was built together.
New algorithms, applying deep learning or automatic texture comparison, were added to the platform. They were applied to new species, work extending from the sea to land, across all the world. With each new species and platform, we got new users with new use cases and problems to solve. And it was finally time to determine how to do it all better: just as our platform revolutionalized photobook methods, we wanted to improve on our existing platform with a modern look and massive efficiency gains.
We want to extend a thank you to the Moore Foundation, who provided us with funding that gave us the time to focus on usability and processing improvement. With your guidance, generosity, and support, we were able to put together a new interface, working to address points of confusion over the years. We were able to improve on the machine learning interactions, rendering this complex process more transparent and comprehensible. And we were able to focus on our users, figuring out the best paths to support the use cases of the diverse programs that we interact with.
We also want to say thank you to our users. Your patience has been gratifying, and we just want to acknowledge that we wouldn’t be here, working on this great project, without you. The journey is not over, and we look forward to the continued iterations and improvements after this long phase comes to a close. Over the coming weeks, we will start shifting existing platforms over to this new system, starting with our zebra platform. Look forward to more communications and developments as we go; we look forward to sharing them with you!
Thank you all,
The Wild Me team