Photo Monitoring
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](https://publiclab.org/notes/mlamadrid/06-22-2016/documenting-runoff-with-photography) in a stream from a disturbed site - the changes in [opacity](https://publiclab.org/wiki/visual-pm) of a smoke stack or blowing off of a pile - an explosion at a [mountaintop mining site](https://publiclab.org/notes/LauraChipley/09-18-2015/hacking-trail-cameras-to-document-blasts-on-mountaintop-removal-sites) - activity [at sand mines](https://publiclab.org/notes/glennwalquist/12-04-2016/monitoring-sargent-sand-mining-operation-in-ludington-michigan) ![image description](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/019/621/medium/Screenshot_2017-02-23_at_4.17.53_PM.png "Screenshot_2017-02-23_at_4.17.53_PM.png") (Above: monitoring a mountaintop removal site: [see this note](https://publiclab.org/notes/LauraChipley/09-18-2015/hacking-trail-cameras-to-document-blasts-on-mountaintop-removal-sites)) #### 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](https://publiclab.org/wiki/photo-monitoring#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 publiclab.org through this page _(see the [Activities](https://publiclab.org/wiki/photo-monitoring#Timelapse+Activities), [Frequently Asked Questions](https://publiclab.org/wiki/photo-monitoring#Frequently+Asked+Questions), and [Updates](https://publiclab.org/wiki/photo-monitoring#Updates) sections below)_ Midwest group: publiclab-midwest **** ![timelapse-camera](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/019/554/medium/IMG_20170202_132917_566.jpg) ### 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](https://www.amazon.com/E-TECHING-Camera-Infrared-Digital-Integrated/dp/B01KX3M5XI/) - $100 * [Docooler](https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DSS7Q4I?psc=1) - $90 * [SUNLUXY](https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016ZX1478?psc=1) - $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](https://publiclab.org/wiki/frac-sand-action-oriented-resources#Photographic+Monitoring) 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.](https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/11-22-2016/interview-chris-nidel-on-environmental-evidence-in-court#Photographic+evidence) - Photographs of events or land change are useful tools in persuasion for publications, or in public comment. [Read more about this here](https://publiclab.org/notes/mlamadrid/06-22-2016/using-photographs-in-fighting-mining-companies). ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
ahmedzhran "Watch this article :https://moviemaker.minitool.com/moviemaker/make-video-from-pictures.html " | Read more » 7 months ago
WaterGeek "I tried using a dashcam for something similar. I had one in old car, but didn't need it in my new car (which has a backup cam), so all of a sudden ..." | Read more » 8 months ago
Mariadesuja "Yes, We can make a video from a series of photos by managing all the photos in order to make their presentation and after that, we will make a video. " | Read more » over 1 year ago
liz "@liz awards a barnstar to ottinger for their awesome contribution! " | Read more » over 1 year ago
jaydenbecnel "How can ground water be dangerous to peoples well water? " | Read more » almost 2 years ago
liz "Thanks Ned! Great to hear from you :) " | Read more » about 2 years ago
nedhorning "Hi Sam, Let me know if you are still having trouble with this. I haven't used it in years but recently got a Windows computer and can see if it's ..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
liz "Hi there, I've shared your question with @nedhorning who created this plugin. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
festival "nice post for these articles Govt post " | Read more » about 3 years ago
JohnSteedsRory "For everyone who's on the market for trail cameras and is not sure which to buy then I can highly recommend this article https://www.outeroptics.co..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
Warrenmcdonalid "Helpful " | Read more » about 4 years ago
StevenSmith "So informative share! " | Read more » about 4 years ago
xose "Hi @icarito! What we have done with our ANOIAcam in relation to the battery is to open a regular powerbank and extract the lipo battery inside. Pow..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
icarito "Thanks @xose for your input! I've little to no experience with this sort of hacking and am still quite confused with a closing window to order the ..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
warren "(just testing something) [graph:/i/27694.csv] " | Read more » about 4 years ago
xose "Sorry, yes, the upper right is the solar panel. In relation to the battery needed I really don't know. As we turn it off for 57 minutes every hour,..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
xose "Hi @icarito! In that setup we're using this solar panel to lipo pcb, and from that to the Witty Pi energy manager → https://www.seeedstudio.com/LiP..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
icarito "Thanks xose! I love that setup, it looks so rugged! I've been doing some research on how to power the pi with solar. Is the plaque in the upper ri..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
xose "Hi Icarito. The project we're working with the witty pi energy manager is this. The case was made with a PVC tube and an external solar panel. Af..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
xose "Impressive Jeff. As soon as we check the outcome, this analysis will be carried on the pictures obtained ;) " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "@xose check this prototype out for your river timelapse project... Very crude but interesting? " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Linking back to this post by @stevie on documenting a site photographically! https://publiclab.org/n/14047 " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
xose "Hi jeff, that's almost correct. Talking to Jackie Z from Witness, she told they're discontinuing the CameraV project and focusing on the Proofmode...." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Awesome! Did this used to be called CameraV or is that a parallel project? " | Read more » almost 5 years ago