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Durita Dahl Andreassen lives on a tiny cluster of islands where sheep outnumber people 2 to 1.


Durita and one of her sheep surveyors. All photos by Sheep View 360/Visit Faroe Islands.


They're called the Faroe Islands, and collectively they're a tiny self-governing archipelago in the North Atlantic.

You can find the Faroe Islands on a map, sure, but if you're interested in using Google Street View to take a virtual look around, don't bother.

The islands are so small, Google hasn't even ventured out there.

So when Durita, who works for the Faroes' tourist board, wanted to share her homeland in glorious 360-degree video with the rest of the world and encourage people to visit, she had to take matters into her own hands.

With no Google Street View cars stopping by in the near future, Durita found a solution using the islands' most abundant creatures: sheep.

Unlike Google Street View cars, sheep, armed with 360-degree cameras, can get to places on the island for views only they can see.

Durita wants to capture the most beautiful views her islands have to offer so Google will be more inclined to "put them on the map."

"My home country is beautiful, green and kind of undiscovered to the rest of the world — and I want to share it with the world," she said in a press release.

This sheep is the king of the world. The word "faroe" also means sheep in Danish, so the sheep pretty much own the place.

She's calling her project Sheep View 360.

Get it? It's like Street View but with sheep.

To get the project up and running, Durita enlisted the help of local shepherds who rounded up their most outgoing sheep for an initial trial to make sure the idea had legs (literally).

One of the sheep surveyors.

They gently attached a 360-degree camera, a mobile phone, and small solar panels to each sheep using a comfortable harness. This way the sheep can roam freely while sending back pictures and GPS coordinates to Durita. She then uploads those pictures to Google Street View, which — it turns out — anyone can do as long as they have images, coordinates, a camera, and a Wi-Fi-connected computer.

Sheep vision.

So far Sheep View has managed to capture panoramas from five distinct locations on the islands, and Durita has put together a fun 360-degree video from the perspective of one of their sheep surveyors.

There have only been two small hiccups so far: getting the cameras back from the sheep and losing the cameras.

Because the sheep are allowed to roam wherever they want, it's not the easiest to corral them back.

"We use dry food, but it doesn’t always work," Durita told Upworthy, explaining that the solution ended up being an old-fashioned one: "We’ve used the traditional way to get them back — herding dogs, and it works quite well.

GIF via Visit Faroe Islands/YouTube.

While Google has yet to contact Durita about mapping the Faroe Islands, the release of her Sheep View video should help.

If nothing else, Durita hopes Sheep View will bring some levity to a world that's experienced a lot of tragedy lately.

"A small idea from a small country … maybe it can bring some calmness to the world," Durita told Upworthy.

The Faroe Islands may be small, but this idea that perfectly (and hilariously) fuses the old world with the new is definitely big enough to attract some significant attention — and hopefully some visitors too.

Check out a this video about Sheep View 360 for more on the project and to see it in action:

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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