The SMART Partnership is a collaboration between some of the world’s leading conservation organizations, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Frankfurt Zoological Society, North Carolina Zoo, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The challenge: Developing capacity on the ground in the most resource-constrained environments
At the heart of this partnership are three pillars that drives their efforts forward—Capacity, Community, and Technology. These pillars embody a suite of best practices to help conservationists effectively manage and protect the most at-risk wildlife and areas worldwide.
Breaking new ground in global conservation with technology
Part of addressing this challenge involved developing the SMART software, a robust, flexible, globally scalable platform of tools to empower rangers, patrol leaders and law enforcement managers to leverage geospatial data with easy-to-use technology. As they work through deploying the SMART platform around the world, the work of migrating diverse historic data sets has been simplified greatly with FME through Safe Software’s grant program.
Jonathan Palmer, the Executive Director of Conservation Technology for the WCS has taken the technical lead on the project for the partnership in collaboration with Refractions, the developers of the SMART platform. With 25 years of technology experience behind him, Jonathan has been through the trenches a few times with data conversions.
“Helping around twenty government partners do complex data conversions is a real challenge,” says Jonathan. “Often we are not in a position to get direct access to the data, and have to remotely guide staff through mapping and converting data. Add to this the fact that the source data isn’t always as clean as you would like, and you get an understanding of the challenges we face. With support from FME we have a few conversions under our belt and we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel – without FME we may have been facing an impossible mission!”
To date, the SMART platform has contributed to conservation efforts in 1,200 sites across 100 countries.
Every year, Safe Software provides over 4,000 free FME licenses to researchers, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions of all levels. If your project could benefit from using FME, learn more and apply now.