The Global Tagging of Pelagic Predators (GTOPP) program is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration among biologists, engineers, computer scientists and educators, which will allow users to view and interact with animal tracking data, as well as oceanographic datasets, to marine life observation. By combining data from a diverse number of highly migratory species, and overlaying them with oceanographic data, it is possible to glimpse the processes that influence how open ocean ecosystems work. Our objective is to understand the factors that influence animal behavior in the blue ocean and to build the tools required for protecting their future. In addition, animals carrying tags quickly become animal ocean sensors and can contribute millions of data records that can help climate scientists build a better understanding of planet Earth
The GTOPP program builds on the accomplishments of the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, one of the original field research projects of the global Census of Marine Life. We will utilize the tracking tools and techniques developed over the past decade for gathering, processing and displaying tracking data, and will make these approaches and datasets accessible to a global research and educational community. It will also utilize the newly-developed ocean tools in Google Earth, providing a powerful, intuitive system for accessing and exploring global datasets.