You're the leader of a group of climate scientists who are concerned about the dwindling polar bear population in the Arctic. To help address the problem, your team has placed hundreds of motion-activated cameras at strategic locations throughout the region. Instead of manually examining each photo that's taken to determine whether it contains a polar bear, your challenge is to devise an automated system that processes data from these cameras in real time and displays an alert on a map when one of your cameras photographs a polar bear. You need a solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine with a high degree of accuracy whether a photo contains a polar bear. And, you need it fast, because climate change won't wait.

In this module, you'll use Microsoft Azure and Azure Cognitive Services to build your automated system. Specifically, you'll use Azure Blob Storage to store photos, the Custom Vision service in Azure Cognitive Services to analyze photos to determine whether they include polar bears, Azure Functions to pass each photograph that's uploaded to Blob Storage to the Custom Vision service, Azure SQL Database as a data source, and Power BI to build a dashboard to visualize results. The dashboard will show in green the locations where your cameras capture polar bears and other wildlife activity in red.

Screenshot of a live map of Cornwallis Island, with various green and red bubbles and camera activity data listed.

Learning objectives

In the following units, you'll deploy several Azure services and integrate them to form an end-to-end solution. The final result will be a Power BI report that depicts where an array of virtual cameras is photographing polar bears. Along the way, you'll learn:

  • How to create an Azure Storage account and upload blobs to it
  • How to write a function app in Azure Functions that's triggered when a blob is uploaded to storage
  • How to use Azure Cognitive Services Custom Vision to train a machine learning model to recognize polar bears in a dataset of images
  • How to invoke a Custom Vision model from a function app
  • How to create a SQL database in Azure SQL Database, and then write records to it
  • How to connect Power BI to a SQL database
  • How to create a report that has informative visuals in Power BI