Shark Net Leverages Location Data to Make Connections

New App Utilizes Geolocation to Track White Sharks

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If you’re bummed that Shark Week has come and gone for this year, don’t worry. Shark Net’s got you covered. We came across this while fishing for mobile learning info at Mashable.

The app, available for free for all iOS devices, lets you track the location of more than a dozen white sharks in the Northern California region. When a tagged shark comes within roughly 1,500 feet of one of the five underwater receivers, a push notification will be sent to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. “You’ve Got Sharks!”

Shark Net currently tracks more than a dozen sharks, whose names include Sicklefin, Little John and Elvis. Some of the feared sea creatures even have historical tracks associated with them so you can see where they’ve been. For example, Mr. Burns is shown to have traveled in 2006 from the San Francisco Bay Area southwest toward Hawaii before looping around.

A screenshot from the Apple Store

This app is a tremendous move forward in location data and mobile learning for two reasons.

First, it provides the public with potential safety issues. If marine biologists deploy more receivers and tag more sharks, beachgoers carrying iOS devices could know when to stay away from the beach if they see an increased level of shark activity.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Shark Net ties location to fostering social connections. “The idea behind the app,” Stanford University marine biologist Randy Kochevar said to research collaborator GTOPP, “is to allow everyone to explore the places where these sharks live, and to get to know them just like their friends on Facebook or Google+.”

If you know of any other apps using location data in a similar manner (wildlife, natural resources, etc.), please leave a comment below.

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Adam Bockler is the communications manager for Float, responsible for all of Float's marketing initiatives. In addition, Adam is a certified DDP Yoga Level 1 instructor, a certified personal trainer, a martial arts instructor, and a graduate of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.

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On August 21, 2012
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