In their second, stunning, collaboration, award-winning geographer James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, former senior design editor for National Geographic, use big data to show us worlds we’ve never been able to see before. Where the Animals Go (W.W. Norton, $39.95) charts the creatures of land, sea, and air using the information generated by a wide range of new technologies, from GPS to DNA “barcoding,” DTAGs (digital sound recording tags) to fluorescent nanoparticles. Tailoring the technology to fit the environment and the creature, scientists have followed elephants and zebras over more ground than these creatures were thought to cover, tracked a wolf across the Alps from Ljubljana to Verona by way of Austria, sent drones to count orangutans on Sumatra by tabulating their nests in the trees, and traced seals under the Southern Ocean, a project that also yielded data on sea salinity and temperature—essential for research on climate change. Cheshire and Uberti have collected stories about the animals along with the data, and use both for the dozens of detailed, full-color maps that form the heart of their book. Just as technology is revising assumptions about many animals’ range, feeding habits, and other behavior, and giving conservationists evidence for new policies concerning wildlife, it’s also fostering these beautiful visualizations. Watch the spirals of a griffon vulture catching a thermal, or the flight of golden-winged warblers staying just ahead of a tornado, or measure the depth a whale dives when exposed to the noise of a submarine, and you come close to understanding what it’s like to be an animal on Earth today.
Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics - James Cheshire, Oliver Uberti
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 19th, 2017