Whales from space dataset, an annotated satellite image dataset of whales for training machine learning models.
Monitoring whales in remote areas is important for their conservation; however, using traditional survey platforms (boat and plane) in such regions is logistically difficult. The use of very high-resolution satellite imagery to survey whales, particularly in remote locations, is gaining interest and momentum. However, the development of this emerging technology relies on accurate automated systems to detect whales, which are currently lacking. Such detection systems require access to an open source library containing examples of whales annotated in satellite images to train and test automatic detection systems. Here we present a dataset of 633 annotated whale objects, created by surveying 6,300 km2 of satellite imagery captured by various very high-resolution satellites (i.e. WorldView-3, WorldView-2, GeoEye-1 and Quickbird-2) in various regions across the globe (e.g. Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, United States, Mexico). The dataset covers four different species: southern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), and grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus).