The Elephant Trade Information System
("ETIS") is a system for tracking the illegal trade in ivory and other elephant products. This database has been tracking seizures of elephant specimens occurring worldwide since 1989. ETIS is managed by TRAFFIC
, the wildlife trade monitoring network for CITES
, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Thanks to a Darwin Initiative
project funded by the UK government, we've been working with partners at the University of Reading and the TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa office in Harare, Zimbabwe to develop a new web-based application for gathering, managing, analyzing, and reporting on seizure data.
Creating a working team with members scattered across various countries and time zones (England, USA & Zimbabwe) is a challenge that we continued to embrace with ETIS. We used Assembla
to manage the work, on-site meetings in Zimbabwe to set up a development environment for and collaborate with local team members, and leveraged Ruby on Rails for creating the application. Our statistical partners in England managed their R scripts via Rails and Dropbox, we at Solertium built out the application in Rails, and the team in Harare make updates to some narrative portions of the site and the application translations in English, French and Spanish via files managed in Dropbox.
Fiona Underwood, Bob Burn, Tom Milliken, Louisa Sangalakula, Alison Heittman, Rob Heittman, Carl Scott, The University of Reading, TRAFFIC, Solertium