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near infrared camera review

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Questions for Near Infrared Camera staff notes:

technical notes: calibration + mapknitter & linked image sets biggest issues accessibility: accessibility of image use by non-experts, how to & quantification going forward: use case and documentation of use case. Where and Who? - compile existing maps and purposes (see sites, below)

Barnraising: Outcomes from the Barnraising aren’t clearly documented

  • still technical barriers... mapknitter compositing (new) putting the IR image and visual images together
  • need guides for interpretation, need “legend” for what colors mean on IR/NDVI map

Proposed goals for three months: Identify site for testing/improved documentation Proposed goal for six months: On site testing and analysis taking place Proposed over all goal for year: Proven test case, with documentation, calibration and guides to do that

Who: Nathan Craig, Adam Griffith, Diane (Western Carolina), MicheleTobias

  • Mat Decker/Stephen Debique-biomass and diversity at a mining site Mine GM list to find who has used contributions in mail group
  • Stewart contact Fruitition Sciences

Question: is calibration needed for application, or is visual inspection enough to get results?

  • can indicate stress, relative stress through color key chart?

UV-guides-use cases-people NDVI-guides-use cases-people NRG-guides-use cases-people


  • Carrier park/ French broad river, Thatchmore Farms, Saugus landfill, Save the Bay Providence, Barataria bay LA, Gowanus, Sunol Ag park, Foothills Community Park
    • Archival work: Need page explaining these sites, what is happening here
    • Bring these groups in to document their mapping work

regular meetings: ? -- to develop interpretation and conclusions Publications for this tool? Collaborative paper with LUMCON

Rick Shory-- doing development on ground-based NDVI in Portland, for vineyard. make mathew follow up. Stewart also has some ideas.

history/context of tool

  • what inspired it? Not clear from documentation-continuation oil spill research based on book
  • who (all) designed/developed/tested it? Where? Boston (early on Providence-not documented), Barnraising (however-vast majority of research notes are from Jeff)
  • where has it been used and how did it go? Somerville Parts and Crafts workshop, Asheville North Carolina, Landfill Cambridge, Gowanus Canal--not completely clear from website--Add a MAP?
  • how specialized is demand for the tool? broadly applicable or very site/condition specific?

Tool is still in development so not completely clear how applicable it will be. Tool is pretty specialized because you need to understand spectral analysis to use it--I would say this is more for an audience of interested experts or people already familiar with spectral imaging--it doesn’t have the jump right in with the rest of GRM, Interest from Wetlands researchers, archeologists, wildlife counting park managers are all interested. (this could be improved by better suggestions of use by others, like farmers, planners)


  • documentation, transmission to new users-The is an online video (2300 views), no illustrated guide, we have covered it in a PBS blog. Near Infrared camera wiki is confusing?
  • save the bay, brooklyn... (where ever jeff left one), Pat Coyle-has one up on map knitter...doesn’t seem to have users picking it up beyond workshops were we have made them.
    • tools needed? matched cameras--balloon rig
    • skills needed? - what knowledge does it assume? difficulty? Basic electronics
    • materials needed - supply chain limitations
    • safety--Capacitor is a safety hazard

Calibration-- do we have a calibration system or plan?

IDEAS: dedicated sub archive for UV images


  • what is it costing us in staff hours? unknown-I suppose a number since we hosted the barnraising on it?
  • what is it costing in materials? $60-$100 for a second camera-- there isn’t clear documentation about costs but I assume that is because it is basically the cost of the camera?
  • COTS (consumer-off-the-shelf) effects unknown, but CCD and CMOS differences in cameras effect spectrum


  • what are the per-use costs? Low (cost of aerial platform, $35-50 a flight + extra lift for second camera)
  • what are wearing parts? (frequency of replacement) unknown


  • are there opportunities for people to participate/contribute-hard for everyday person to contribute because need to understand spectral imaging, lots of opportunity for experts in software development/image anaylsis (however diagrams on the site do explain how it works. Maybe better examples “this is healthy” “this is not” and interpretation guides would be helpful, as well as more events to familiarize people with interpretation)
  • formats: online/offline?
    • cost? (dollars, time)
    • access to materials, components
    • language barrier? It has been used in Lima--but it is unclear if that use is continued without Jeff there?
    • language: domain-specific, insider/outsider

Change effected

  • how has it measurably/materially affected:
    • local ecology - N/A
    • available/actionable information? Potentially makes Spectral analysis far more accessible
    • decision making - N/A
    • legal, policy, regulatory - N/A
    • enables participation in a formerly closed information loop? Yes


2012 tool goals:

Develop use cases-- Wetlands monitoring and Agricultural sites Develop software-- Automate two cameras clicking at once, matched file set handling in MapKnitter Make online documentation more legible-- illustrated guide, use cases Make more accessible materials/guides for interpretation

  • what can you conclude from this kind of info and how?