Here’s a glimpse into the future of killer whale sound archives. Steven Ness and collaborators at the University of Victoria have created the Orchive — a suite of open-source, web-based tools for listening to and annotating the recordings of northern resident orcas made by Paul and Helena Spong at OrcaLab. Using Ruby on Rails and Flash, the Orchive enables citizen scientists to visually browse spectrograms, listen to the 1.3 years of recordings, read through scanned logbook pages, and examine existing annotations. By logging in, you can contribute to the cataloging effort by annotating the recordings, associating a recording with a logbook page, and defining the start time of a recording.
This is a giant leap forward! I can see a big niche for such tools in the analysis of data archived from the growing network of cabled ocean observing systems. An upcoming challenge will be to develop similar tools for analysis of real-time data, like those obtained from the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network.