The Lab Project Problem Statements

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Topic Area: Extended Reality (XR)

In what ways can we use XR technologies to enhance the conservation, recreation, and educational aspects of Cleveland Metroparks? How can these technologies be used to provide experiences that enhance our appreciation of the natural world, or provide us with methods to improve the ways we do our work?


  1. Using Virtual Reality to reveal unseen aspects of nature
    a. Sample Ideas
         i. Water Cycle (i.e. Life of a Water Drop)
        ii. Inside Trees, topography, etc.
       iii. Nature Hide & Seek game b. Educational standards-based
  2. Using Augmented Reality to reveal unseen aspects of nature
    a. Sample Ideas
        i. Digital Interpretive Naturalist
       ii. Plant/Animal ID
  3. Using Mixed Reality to train animal keepers/veterinarians
    a. Using eye-tracking or other technology for knowledge transfer of how animal keepers and veterinarians interact and diagnose issues with animals at the zoo.

Topic Area: Internet of Things (IoT)

Accurate measurement of quantitative park data will provide Cleveland Metroparks with the ability to make better data-driven decisions in both its day to day operations and long-term planning. The current challenge here is that IoT devices are too expensive at the scale needed for full park analysis. In what ways can existing third party data be utilized to help answer these questions? Can inexpensive but effective hardware be developed for distribution throughout the system? How can data improve the ability of our park users to make healthy decisions about their use of Cleveland Metroparks?


  1. Park Usage Monitoring
    a. Count by
        i. Type (walker, runner, cyclist, horseback, etc.)
       ii. Entrances/Exits b. Automatic upload (Bluetooth/cellular/5G)
  2. Traffic Flow & Analysis
    a. Measure flow in high traffic situations to determine efficient routing/bottlenecks, etc.
        i. Zoo
       ii. Edgewater Live
      iii. Vehicular Traffic
  3. Air Quality Measurement & Reporting
    a. Comparative between urban and park settings
    b. Provides API/feed that can be integrated into a website
  4. Park Prescription Measurement & Check-in
    a. Check-in Kiosk, Digital Fob, or other mechanism for
        i. Integration with healthcare service provides
       ii. Personal progress tracking
      iii. On-site health check (heart rate, etc.)

Topic Area: Blockchain/Alternative Tech for Animal Conservation

Distributed Ledger technology is an excellent method to manage provenance and assess value in high risk/low trust situations. How could this technology be used to influence the way wildlife conservation is assessed and managed in both local and international contexts? Could a cryptocurrency reduce demand for the illegal wildlife trade? Can blockchain ensure that stock lines and movement of animals within zoological parks are ethically managed and sustained?


  1. Development of a Conservation Token tied to value related to international wildlife conservation efforts and combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Topic Area: GIS/Engineering

With hundreds of miles of trails, roadways, riverbanks, and coastline, how can Cleveland Metroparks quickly analyze erosion trends, wear & tear, to remediate issues before they occur?


  1. Using LiDAR or other formats, scan paved trails, berms, and riverbanks to monitor and analyze erosion patterns, accessibility and other qualitative measures.

Topic Area: Machine Learning

With the amount of data already on hand at Cleveland Metroparks – how can we efficiently analyze it, and provide it to both researchers and guests who are looking for very specific things?


  1. Camera Traps
    a. Algorithmic analysis of hundreds of thousands of photos of animals to determine
        i. False positives
       ii. Species
      iii. Other data
  2. Alexa Skill
    a. AI program that allows guests to ask for updates on
        i. Events
       ii. Pricing
      iii. Directions iv. Contact Info