Spying on trees

Dr Tim Brown from the APPF’s team at the Australian National University is helping researchers from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) to use surveillance camera networks and drone data to spy on trees. The project will make huge amounts of time-lapse image data accessible for scientists trying to understand how climate change will affect forests around the world.

“Rapid change in technology has made it possible to cheaply deploy lots of cameras and generate vast coverage. This complexity of data is needed to crack really serious environmental issues”, says Tim, who is harnessing gaming technology to organise the huge quantities of data that are produced by surveillance cameras and other sensors into easily accessible formats.

“I’m excited to make tools for citizen science, or students for example. They can visit a forest on the other side of the world in virtual reality, or for under $100 build their own time-lapse camera and use our software to monitor the environment at their school.” Read more

An example of Tim’s work, a panorama of North Canberra taken from Black Mountain, showing the contrast between spring and autumn colours was selected as the cover for the March 2016 issue of the Journal Frontiers in Ecology, in which his research is published.

You can also view an interactive version of the Canberra Panorama.

2016 Blog Tim Brown