Chesapeake Conservancy is using AI to help the Bay - Baltimore


Jul. 11, 2017 9:44 am

Chesapeake Conservancy is using AI to help the Bay

Microsoft highlighted the nonprofit's "precision conservation" efforts using a new toolkit. And there's a video.

The Chesapeake Bay.

(Photo obtained under Creative Commons license by Wikimedia Commons user Farragutful)

The Chesapeake Conservancy is bringing machine learning to the Bay.

The nonprofit was highlighted by Microsoft for its use of the tech giant’s cloud and AI tools as it works on a big mapping effort for the Chesapeake Bay. It’s building on the Conservancy’s efforts to create a dataset that enables “precision conservation.” The new data about the Bay has 900 times the info of existing tools.

They’re also using Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit 2.0, which is open source and was released in June.

A Microsoft blog describes one way the Conservancy is using the tools:

For example, Annapolis, Maryland-based Chesapeake Conservancy is working with Microsoft researchers to use the toolkit to define and train a neural network that accelerates the creation of up-to-date one-meter resolution land cover datasets. This information can be used to prioritize restoration and protection initiatives throughout the Chesapeake Bay, which spans approximately 64,000 square miles in six states and Washington, D.C.

Microsoft also released a video describing the cloud and AI efforts. Enjoy the Bay views.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is Market Editor for Baltimore and DC. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following stints in New Orleans and Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Baltimore Fishbowl, NOLA Defender, Times-Picayune and the Rio Grande Sun.


Sign-up for regular updates from

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!