Yesterday we posted BearID 1.0, where we announced version 1.0 of our open source, deep learning based bear identification program. In the Next Steps section of that post, we discussed the need to get more bear photos which can be used to improve the accuracy of the bearid program. We have about 800 usable photos so far, mainly from the Flickr albums of Carla Ferris and Ike Fitz. We are in contact with the rangers at Katmai National Park to see if we can get their photos and we are also investigating the use of videos for training.

This is a call to anyone with brown bear photos or videos who is willing to contribute their content to our efforts. Photos and videos will only be used for training our bearid program. For more information about this project, you can find all the blog postings at

There are a few criteria on the photos and videos we are looking for:

  • We are mainly focusing on brown bears which are active at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, so photos or videos of these bears are especially helpful. However, any brown bear which can be uniquely identified can be useful for training the key part of our program. These can be wild or captive brown bears. For example: bear 480 Otis from Brooks Falls or Kachina from the San Francisco Zoo.
  • Each bear in each photo or video must be positively identified. It is easiest if there is only one bear per photo or video. It is helpful if there is a separate folder or gallery for each bear which contains photos and/or videos of only that bear. However, as long as the bear is identified in the file name or through some other means, we can probably utilize them.
  • The bear’s face should be clearly visible and facing toward the camera where both eyes are visible. Videos or sets of photos where this is true at least some of the time are good enough. We can filter out the images we can not use.
  • Adult bears only! Bears change too much from cub to adult. We’re not ready to deal with such changes. It’s already a lot to deal with adult bear’s changes through a season and from year to year.

If you know of an online source of photos which fit the criteria, please leave a link in the comments below. If you have photos which you are willing to share by uploading or other means, please contact us at bearid [at] hypraptive [dot] com.

Bear Face Chips