The MER-VEILLE observatory is a new tool for visual monitoring of underwater landscapes and species. It offers the user the possibility to visualize large format photographs and to compare them (for the same site). It is currently composed of 120 georeferenced landscapes photographed between 4 and 82 meters deep in the French Mediterranean Sea, Italy (Sardinia) and Tunisia (Galite, Zembra). To view the different photographs, you just have to click on a site, to display the list of available photographs for this site, to choose the one you want to see in large format, then to zoom in this photo (scroll and navigate in the image).
This observatory has been recently completed by an important database on marine species. A new tool allows the user to search for species according to different criteria (depth, scientific name, common name, geographical location…). The MER-VEILLE project team thanks Thierry Thibaut (Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanographie, Aix Marseille Université) for his precious help in the identification of species of the Cystoseira genus.
Mer-Veille also integrates indicators on the complexity and aesthetics of underwater landscapes. In order to measure the aesthetic preferences for coralligenous reefs, we used 339 photographic quadrats of 50 cm x 50 cm taken on 113 stations between -20 and -90 m depth during the RECOR campaign initiated in 2010 by the Rhone-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency and Andromeda Oceanology. Each of these photos was used in an online questionnaire based on random pairs. The purpose of this questionnaire was to measure the aesthetic preferences of each participant based on 15 random pairs among the 339 photos of coralligenous reefs. For each pair, the observer was asked to click on the image that appeared to be the most beautiful. From each participant’s choices, the photos were ranked using the Elo algorithm, which assigns an aesthetic score to each photo based on pairwise comparisons. For the calculation of Elo scores, the initial number of points is 1500. Landscapes with a score <1500 are the “least liked” (they had more losses than wins) and landscapes with a score >1500 are perceived as the “most liked” (they had more wins than losses).
For a more complete description of the protocol, please see this publication : https://www.nature.com/articles/srep34229
And you will find on the platform, by clicking on the button “Access to the maps“, a tool for visual monitoring of species and underwater landscapes : it allows you to click on a site, to display the list of available photographs for this site, to choose the one you want to see in large size, then to zoom in this photo (scroll and navigate in the image).
The association L’œil d’Andromède is one of the 30 winners of the last 2017 session of the Banque Populaire du Sud Foundation, rewarded in the Environment category for the Sea-Veille Observatory.
Contact : Gwenaëlle Delaruelle
Project Leader : Andromède Océanologie – www.andromede-ocean.com
Update frequency : Every year.
Partners : Agence de l’eau Rhône Méditerranée et Corse, Banque Populaire du Sud