Photo Monitoring

Photography is a powerful and affordable way to document all kinds of environmental issues. We'll be collecting different techniques and tips here -- stay tuned and pitch in where you can! We'll be starting with a focus on #timelapse photography: ## Why Timelapse photography is a visual form of data collection that: - is relatively cheap to collect (~$100, [see below](#Get+a+timelapse+camera)) - produces easier-to-read data: photos - can give good visual context to a problem, compared to (or paired with) sensor data - situates the data in a timeline #### What environmental problems might this apply to Timelapse photography, or photographic monitoring is a good way to document the changes in a landscape over time, or an incident you need images of when you might not be there to capture them in person such as: - [sediment runoff]( in a stream from a disturbed site - the changes in [opacity]( of a smoke stack or blowing off of a pile - an explosion at a [mountaintop mining site]( - activity [at sand mines]( ![image description]( "Screenshot_2017-02-23_at_4.17.53_PM.png") (Above: monitoring a mountaintop removal site: [see this note]( #### Limitations - To set up the camera, you will need access to a secure location where your site of interest can be seen. - Depending on how often you have the camera set to take photos, you could end up with a lot of images to go through. - There have been documented challenges in capturing images with glare (from the sun, snow and water) (see [Frequently Asked Questions]( #### Conversations & collaboration * Discussions around photographic monitoring are happening on the Midwest group through a few on-going projects, as well as on through this page _(see the [Activities](, [Frequently Asked Questions](, and [Updates]( sections below)_ Midwest group: publiclab-midwest **** ![timelapse-camera]( ### Get a timelapse camera Timelapse cameras can be found at sporting goods stores and online. They are also called "trail cameras" or "game cameras." See the [Timelapse Kit page](/wiki/timelapse) for more, and to borrow one (if available) ### Case studies [notes:timelapse:story] [map:tag:timelapse-story:44:-91] **** ### Related techniques Timelapse photography may also make use of a number of other techniques, such as: * [Triggering cameras](/wiki/camera-trigger) * [Photo sharing](/wiki/photo-sharing) - different ways to share, distribute, upload LOTS of photos online There are also possibilities with cell-network-enabled trail cameras, though they're mostly a bit more expensive; they'd need a mobile phone plan and a SIM card to work. Many are around $400, but these (pretty poorly rated) ones were around $100: * [E-TECHING]( - $100 * [Docooler]( - $90 * [SUNLUXY]( - $109 **** ### Updates [notes:photo-monitoring] ### Timelapse Activities Timelapse photography is a way to automatically trigger a camera on an interval -- for example, every minute, or every hour. Here are some posted activities related to timelapse; we're still seeking a clear guide to setting up and using a #trail-cam to do timelapses, so **please reach out if you're able to help document this**! [activities:timelapse] ### Frequently Asked Questions We're collecting and working our way through a wide array of questions about timelapse photography -- if you can contribute your own questions, or answer others', please do! [questions:timelapse] **** ### Frac sand photographic monitoring There's some good resources [posted on this page]( which are specific to water monitoring or monitoring of frac sand sites -- check it out, and we're working to open some of these ideas up into questions and activities soon. **** #### About the data **Type of data** This method produces data in the form of images. Most cameras are also able to timestamp images. _Addons:_ - Some cameras also have the ability to capture GPS data. - This monitoring method can be paired with weather monitoring stations for a richer data set. - Sending images to the internet has been another add-on for these type of projects. **Uses for the data** - Government agencies often find photographic data useful evidence. [Read more about this here.]( - Photographs of events or land change are useful tools in persuasion for publications, or in public comment. [Read more about this here]( ...

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