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03/09/2005

Deer warning system

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  I live in rural Wisconsin, USA, where there are many white-tailed deer in the woods and fields. Just about every person I know has hit a deer - dangerous to them (and the deer!) and costly, too. The deer have paths that they use.
  My idea is to equip cars with gps devices that the driver could activate by pushing a button every time he or she sees a deer. This information would be downloaded to a mapping system (GIS) and then as a person was driving a light would come on every time the driver approached a known deer crossing. The system could become more sophisticated if the display would offer gradations in its display (kind of like the terror alert system) - it would record the frequency of observations compared to the number of times the road was traveled. Although people do not always see the deer, the data might still be useful when the sample size is large enough.
  Most people drive the same roads every day to commute, so individuals would quickly develop their own individual maps. However, I also envision what could happen if many people in a community were contributing to a community or state-wide map, allowing a person to drive anywhere in the state and have little warnings when they cross a deer path. The DNR could use the data to track deer populations.
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Andrew Gaertner
 
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