Now that the weather is getting warmer, the trees are about to explode in leaf, and you’re finally inspired to go outside – take some photos for science!
Project Rephoto leverages all the smartphones we wield as a massive network of sensors to monitor street tree health and growth by taking pictures of trees repeatedly over time. To aid in this, the research team has created an iOS and Android image capture application explicitly designed to support repeat photography – the process of taking a new image from exactly the same perspective as a previous image.
I’ve been monitoring a couple trees on my block since February – you can see the photos I’ve taken. The app makes this easier than you think by showing the previous picture of your subject half see-through so that the new picture is perfectly aligned. To participate in the Greenpoint Tree Monitoring Project you need to first get the longitude and latitude of the tree. To do this, use Google Maps to locate the tree you want to monitor, right click on the location and choose “What’s here?” Hover the mouse over the green marker that was placed on the map, and comment below the coordinates (which would be something like 40.732934, -73.956163) and something memorable to call the tree. We will add your monitoring location on the map, and the next time you’re nearby fire up the RePhoto app, sign into the project and start doing something useful with that smartphone! (you can of course, also use rePhoto to repeating photograph anything you like- your houseplant, your closet, your eyeball…)