Jumbo Elephant photo ID is an advanced photo recognition system that allows for photographers and researchers to identify individual elephants using advanced image recognition technology.

This technology has been used to identify characteristics in other animal species.

Elephant research currently lacks a tool to quickly identify and record elephants as well as establish trending patterns like migration within national parks and reserves.

Jumbo Elephant Photo ID will change that…

Sharing of information

One of the biggest problems facing researchers is the ability to share and compare information quickly. Using Elephant Photo ID, researchers can compare images from a maintained central online database, or by using/creating a local database that can be exported and shared using conventional storage transport media such as external hard disk drives.

Local databases can be imported and can be synced to the central database.

This ensures even in remote locations researchers can still operate Jumbo Elephant Photo ID effectively.

System Architecture

Understanding that Jumbo Elephant Photo ID may be used in locations with limited or no internet connection, the system architecture is developed with this in mind:

  • Standalone installation
  • Operational on 32bit and 64bit operating systems
  • Windows and Apple OS
  • Local database is created upon software launch
  • Prepackaged free to use antivirus software

Image Recognition

Jumbo Elephant Photo ID lets researchers focus image recognition patterns on:

  • Ear
  • Tusk
  • Head
  • Tusk

This allows the focus to be on the elephant’s individual physical characteristics.

Probability Matches

Probability matches are generated by advanced image recognition algorithms. This presents a narrowed down list of elephant matches. What used to take an enormous amount of man hours, is now achievable in a few clicks of a mouse.

Online vs Offline modes


  • Ability to connect and compare data with the central database
  • Upload to the central database
  • Accessible from anywhere with a data (Internet) connection
  • View your sighting history


  • Compare and save to local database
  • Local database is exportable and transferable
  • Can be used in remote locations that have no data (Internet) connection
  • Use of Jumbo Elephant Photo ID in guest mode

Benefits of using Jumbo Elephant Photo ID

  • Faster image processing
  • Quicker and more accurate identification of elephants
  • Recorded sighting logs
  • Recorded GPS coordinates, allowing for elephant migration analysis within a Park/National Reserve environment
  • Records are stored in a central and local database
  • Local databases can be quickly imported and exported to use in another location

Endless possibilities to expand

  • Advanced GPS tracking across park boundaries using sightings as waypoints
  • Establishing trend behavior of elephants close to human habitation
  • Mobile application integration
  • Further image recognition refinement through the addition of physical characteristic patterns

Jumbo Quick Guide


This software is for Microsoft Windows 2000 to Windows 10 with all in between. Jumbo Photo ID will remember the position and size of the program window when it was last closed.


You can choose to select a Desktop icon or type Jumbo into the bottom left search bar. When running the task-bar icon looks like (i), on the Desktop: it depends on the background the logo does not work well on all backgrounds (ii-iv) – The logo needs some work.


The only files most users deal with are photos from their cameras. It is strongly recommended that photos of the same animal be placed into a separate folder. Using Windows explorer, select then drag and drop the photos onto the Jumbo Drop Zone.

The only other files are zipped up local data-bases used for importing and exporting data. See Section Import/Export

Working on set of dropped images

After dropping a number of selected images onto the button the screen changes to Photo Processing mode and the current photos are displayed in icon form in a scroll-list on the left. The program can work with relatively small program windows – the five current photos are in the scroll list and when you click on an icon it gets a golden frame and it is displayed in the large middle pane.

The Add feature panel holds four buttons to select elephant features by drawing rectangles. The Examplar use panel allows selecting representatives from the available features for this elephant. These are then displayed in the elephant’s summary view. The tick-box labelled Animal is the main representative image; it is square (see above). If a feature is selected then it’s rectangle shown in a golden colour. White rectangles indicate that another photo is supplying the example for this feature, such as the head above.

Editing already selected features

Once a feature has been selected it can then be modified. When the mouse is hovering over a feature the rectangle becomes active and it is augmented with small squares which allow scaling in the usual ways. The small red square near the top right corner serves for removing features. Clicking in areas where features overlap changes the active rectangle.

Photo ID

The indicated features will be used to assign three closest matches from the database to the current photos. This is initiated with the Submit panel. Currently (Jumbo V1.0) all the requests return <no match> which then allows the photos to be added and a new Elephant to be created in the local database.

Once the photos have been submitted the user is asked for a provisional name for the newly added animal and then he or she is taken to a screen which allows entering additional information such as age and sex.

Once the input is accepted the Photo processing Screen changes a little, the Submit panel is now replaced with a File panel which allows working on features of elephants that have been added to the database. In order to select a different Elephant or some other task you need to return to the main screen.

The main screen shown three bars and the top bar is labelled Elephants (3). Clicking in that bar brings up the list of Elephants in the local data-base, as icons. To get back to the main screen from there click in the blue arrow.

Logging in and Admin rights

There are three levels of usage – (i) Guest (ii) User and (iii) Admin. The install comes with an Admin called Joe Ranger and the password is Joe. Generally speaking only admin can change settings such as the name of the station or add other users. Only Admins can edit an elephant’s info but others can also submit photos. Currently the passwords are not encrypted. This will be in the next version. There currently is a backdoor that allows establishing a user with Admin rights should the passwords have been forgotten.

Users with Admin rights can add or remove users and Admins, remove or merge Elephants (in the case there the same individual has been added twice) and change the names of the park and station in Settings.

Manual removal of files

It is possible to manually remove the data-files for Elephants, Users or Stations and restart with none. In order to reflect these drastic measures it is necessary to run the Redo indexes function in Settings.


It is possible for Admins to import and export the local database. For this purpose the program writes all the non-image data into a text file in XML format and places all the photos (image data) into a directory for each Elephants before zipping the entire package into a single file of form The file is placed on the desktop.
Using the import function such a file can be selected and the program will unzip the data and use it to obtain the data-base which produced the file. This will erase and existing data although the previous data directory Elephants is renamed to _Elephants for recovery purpose. Simply rename the folders to restore the previous data. The folders are in \Users\…\AppData\Roaming\QSAPC\UPWORK\ELEPHANTS\RCS\data\


Clicking in the main logo or the File/About menu option brings up the following information. This information is preliminary and work in progress, as is the res to the software. Modules are being added, V1.0 implements the Local data-base.