Software for automated photo-id of salamanders
The picture on this page illustrates the process of scanning patterns from the dorsal surface photos of sand lizards. By fitting a 3D surface model to the lizard image the program captures a pattern that is unaffected by the camera angle or the animal's posture. Highlights on the image are excluded from the scan automatically. 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.
To try out the software first unzip the following "sand_lizard_folders.zip" file to your c: drive, where it will make a "c:\sand_lizard\" folder with a number of subfolders containing sample images and pattern extracts (remember to click the "use folder names" option). The "c:\sand_lizard\" folder will also contain an Access database called "sand_lizard.mdb" and three documents 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 "lizard_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 "sand_lizard" in the programs list or on "Extract/Compare" on the database screen. Then please follow the steps in the "Demonstration.doc" 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:\sand_lizard\" folder except for those in the "c:\sand_lizard\download_photos\" folder, which is used to hold new photographs that are to be added to the system.