Have you ever wondered where sharks swim? I don't mean the ocean, and there's no punch line here. I wonder if sharks ever get bored and go swimming somewhere else. After all, they are like the bosses of the final level of the sea – surely they can do whatever they want?
home screen hero
This is part of a regular series of articles exploring apps you can't live without. Read all about it here.
Thanks to Shark Tracker, you can answer these questions. The premise is simple: track sharks.
If you love seeing little yellow planes on the FlightRadar app (one of the 10 best apps for armchair travelers), this one is similar, but with sharks. And sharks are cool. Probably cooler than a plane.
This app is brought to you by OCEARCH, a global nonprofit organization that studies sharks and other major marine species. They humanely capture sharks and place geolocation tags on them. This allows us to understand where different types of sharks migrate during different seasons and stages of their life cycles. These discoveries will help us learn more about sharks, which areas of the world's oceans are essential to them, and where we should focus our efforts to protect them.
However, it's not just sharks. If you go to settings, you can also choose to track other marine life such as seals, turtles, marlin, and crocodiles.
swim with sharks
Amazingly, OCEARCH offers this as an open source shark tracking service. The app is free to download for iOS and Android and is available online from his OCEARCH website. All tracking data can be accessed for free. So whether you're a marine biologist, a student writing a dissertation, or just can't wait until Discovery Channel's Shark Week to make your next fix, Shark Tracker has your back. useful for.
Similar to Flight Radar, the heart of the app is the tracking section. This is a map with icons showing each shark's last known location. There aren't that many “active” sharks, but each one has a human name and you can add it to your favorites. I'm currently following Fastball (a mako shark), Ali (a whale shark), and Ormond (a great white shark).
When a shark enters the ocean, the tracker must ping and preferably send its location to the OCEARCH central shark tracking headquarters. When a tracker sends a ping but isn't far enough above the water to connect to a GPS satellite and send its location, it's called a Z-Ping. These Z-Pings are fairly common. Full location pings are rare. It can sometimes take months for a full location ping to occur, and it's interesting to see where sharks suddenly appear. When a notable location ping appears, it's usually a short post commenting on what the location means, such as whether the animal appears to be headed somewhere to feed or breed. accompanies.
A wealth of information is revealed when you toggle the settings to show all tagged marine life that is part of the project, click through to see different species from around the world, and discover some It is interesting to understand the enormous distances that have been traveled. However, as a result of recent tagging surveys, most current activity appears to be centered in the Atlantic Ocean. The app joins the dots between pings to show sharks' paths up and down the coastline of the continental United States.
Some animals haven't left a ping in a while. There can be several reasons for this, but one of the most common reasons is that your tracker's battery has simply died. The most powerful trackers have batteries that only last about a year, so be careful not to get emotional.
feel closer to the sea
Shark Tracker isn't a productivity or health app that's going to change your life, but for me it's a healthy alternative to the walk of doom. I open the app every once in a while to see if Ormond has popped up somewhere. He was last seen off the coast of New York. Before that, he was off the coast of Nova Scotia. He was a short distance from his first track near Florida more than 400 days ago. Z-Ping came from Ormond a week ago so he's still swimming somewhere.
Shark Tracker doesn't give you dopamine-hitting notifications every few hours, but it does make the pop-up notifications even better. There is a rationale for capturing the vast distances that living things travel.
As someone who lives in the concrete of London, it brings me a little closer to the sea and its animals.