The pictures on this page illustrate the process of sacnning patterns from dorsal surface photos of salamanders.   

By fitting a 3D surface model to the image our programs capture a pattern that is unaffected by the camera angle or posture.  They then go on to compare the new pattern with previous patterns stored in a library and display the most likely matches.

Suitable images may be from researchers or tourists and the resulting database of match results can be used to provide the usual benefits of mark/recapture studies: monitoring of population size and other parameters, determining the fate of individual animals, encouraging cooperation between different research groups and so on


To try out the software first unzip the following  "" file to your c: drive, where it will make a "c:\salam_demo\" folder with a number of subfolders containing sample images and pattern extracts (remember to click the "use folder names" option).  The "c:\salam_demo\" folder will also contain an Access database called "salam_demo.mdb" and a "Usage.doc" Word documents explaining the process of entering new images, extracting patterns from those images and comparing the patterns to the library in order to search for earlier images of the same animal.

Then open the "" file and double-click the "setup.exe" program.  Please answer "yes" to retain any files that would otherwise be overwritten by older files.

When installation is complete click on "lizard" in the programs list.   Then please follow the steps in the "Getting Started" section to see how the sytem is run to search a catalogue for matches to a new photograph and to test its performance.  Please do not add, delete or rename any files or folders in the "c:\salam_demo\" folder except for those in the "c:\salam_demo\download_photos" folder, which is used to hold new photographs that are to be added to the system.

(note:  in case of problems when running the pattern extraction/comparison program from the database screen please use a shortcut to the salam.exe file instead)


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