Stillio helps University researchers monitor boat movements in sensitive marine habitats

The Challenge

How can researchers from the Friday Harbor Labs (FHL) of the University of Washington get reliable data from boat traffic websites without having to check and physically screenshot them every day at precise intervals?

The Solution

With Stillio, the researchers are now able to save precious time on monitoring boat traffic websites by setting up the service to capture screenshots every couple of hours automatically.

The Results

Reliability, ease of operation, and excellent customer service have made Stillio a service that FHL researchers gladly rely on when it comes to tracking data regarding sensitive marine habitats.

About Friday Harbor Labs of the University of Washington

Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) is a marine biology field station of the University of Washington. The land on which the lab is situated—Friday Harbor on the San Juan Island—as well as the marine waters of the region, are biological preserves suitable for various research projects.

One of the crucial activities FHL researchers engage in is cataloging the boat traffic in small bays in the San Juan Archipelago in Washington State. They do this by using live tracking data from boats equipped with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS).

“These islands in Washington State were always popular boating destinations, but during the COVID-19 outbreak, the boat occupancy in the sheltered bays of the Archipelago has shot through the roof. These boats are anchoring in sensitive marine habitats, and we study the impacts.”
—Jason, Senior Research Scientist at University of Washington, FHL

The AIS-enabled boats appear on the interactive map on marine traffic websites, and monitoring the effects of these anchorings requires taking screenshots of particular locations on the websites every few hours. This way, the researchers can get a good estimation for the ebb and flow of boat traffic in these bays over time.

How did Stillio come into the picture?

Without automated screenshot functionality, researchers were spending precious time tracking boat activities online manually. Opting for Stillio allowed the team to focus on other tasks instead of checking the marine traffic websites at particular times every day.

Stillio’s simple interface, reliability, ease of navigation, and numerous options for cataloging the screenshots and getting notifications made a real difference for the researchers at the FHL, bringing forth the results they were very satisfied with.

“Thanks to Stillio, we can now easily monitor specific times of the day and the week to see when boats’ occupancy increases and decreases. We also have the opportunity to compare the number of boats appearing on marine traffic sites to the actual number of boats (gotten through direct observations) in the bays at the same time.”
—Jason, Senior Research Scientist at University of Washington, FHL

With this data available and neatly stored in one place, it’s now easier than ever for the FHL researchers to develop a sense of how many boats are appearing in the sensitive marine habitats.

Could your organization, just like University researchers, benefit from monitoring, storing, and analyzing online tracking data? Using Stillio to automatically capture and archive screenshots of important pages is the last piece of the puzzle to your venture’s success!

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