I recently left the Allen Coral Atlas team after five great years building with them. It’s been quite a journey from the early demo and my being star-struck about National Geographic coverage, through moving institutional homes, the team going fully remote, and announcing that we had reached global coverage. Here’s what we’ve done since that last update:
A full remapping of the world incorporating feedback from more than 90 regional experts, and 150 Atlas users, to make our automated classification a better fit to what locals know is in their waters.
An overhaul of the bleaching detection system building on our experience with v1, to reduce false positives.
A simplified reef extent layer, because while researchers need as much detail as we can give them, higher level policymakers and advocates are often better served by summary data that is quicker to digest and easier to describe.
An ocean turbidity layer, directly tracking one of the widespread threats to coral health from human activity on land.
A subscription service for bleaching alerts, so that anyone can be notified by email of bleaching detected in areas they have an interest in.
I’m glad to be able to say that the Atlas isn’t going away and its data will stay fresh. It’s easily the coolest thing I’ve ever worked on and may well be the most useful. The pace of developing new features and manually updating data will be slowing significantly, but a smaller engineering team will be keeping it running and keeping the fortnightly bleaching and quarterly turbidity updates going.
And I am looking for the next thing I can help build and be as proud of as I am this one.