The next time you’re roaming around Africa, you can help fill the database of zebra identification. If you’re interested. From New Scientist:
The system, dubbed StripeSpotter, only requires a small amount of human input. Users draw a rectangle around the zebra’s side, then this part of the image is automatically sliced into a number of horizontal bands and each pixel is made fully black or fully white, creating a low-resolution version of the zebra’s stripes. Each band is then encoded as a StripeString, a sequence of coloured blocks with particular lengths – for example, white for two blocks, black for three, white for one – and the collection of StripeStrings forms a StripeCode, the zebra equivalent of a barcode.
It could work with any species with a distinct marking on their coat, like giraffes, leopards, tigers and so on, says the TreeHugger article, but there was no mention of the house cat.