London Zoo lets you put your cat on the map
The zoo hopes the interactive, searchable map will get people thinking about the plight of endangered big cats.
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Photo: Cat Map
Ever wondered how many tabbies live in your town? Want to learn more about those black cats in your borough? Thanks to the Zoological Society of London’s interactive Cat Map, you can do these things and more.
The Cat Map began as a way to promote the London Zoo’s new Tiger Territory, which opened March 22, by collecting data about London’s domestic felines.
But cat-loving cartographers from around the globe are also plotting their kitties on the site, and there are currently more than 15,000 housecats on the searchable map.
Users can share information about their cats, their friends’ cats or even stray cats by submitting an address — which isn’t shown exactly on the map — and the animal’s name and description. They can even upload a photo of their photogenic feline.
The map’s data inputs aim to mimic the techniques used by field conservationists when recording numbers and locations of individual animals. The zoo hopes that participating in Cat Map will get people thinking about animal conservation, especially the plight of Sumatran tigers.
"The map highlights the fact that people love cats and the similarity between big cats and little cats," Cat Map creator, Filip Hnizdo, told Wired.
Native to Indonesia, Sumatran tigers currently number only 300 and are an endangered species. The London Zoo’s redeveloped Tiger Territory exhibit is home to two of the big cats, 5-year-old Jae Jae and 4-year-old Melati.
Jae Jae and Melati were the first felines plotted on Cat Map.
Cat Map is searchable by a cat’s name, gender, color and location, and in addition to domestic kitties and endangered big cats, you can also find your favorite feline memes, including Nyan cat.
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