Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Digital panoramas of rangelands could be rich source of research data

Date:
September 20, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Rangeland ecologists may be able to use high-resolution digital panoramas to track landscape changes. Hydraulic engineers are using digital cameras to create a single high-resolution landscape panorama that users can zoom in on to study individual plants, animals or specific features in the landscape.

ARS hydraulic engineer Mary Nichols is using a panoramic photography technique to stitch together hundreds of individual photographs into a high-resolution image that can help ecologists track landscape changes.
Credit: Chris Nichols

A scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is exploring how rangeland ecologists could use high-resolution digital panoramas to track landscape changes.

Related Articles


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hydraulic engineer Mary Nichols uses a digital camera to create a single high-resolution landscape panorama that users can zoom in on to study individual plants, animals or specific features in the landscape.

Nichols works at the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center in Tucson, Ariz. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA commitment to enhancing sustainable agriculture.

To create these images, Nichols places a digital camera on a robotic camera mount and takes a series of pictures as the mount rotates. Then a custom computer program stitches the pictures together to create a panoramic image. In the end, hundreds-and sometimes thousands-of individual detailed photographs become part of a single high-resolution landscape panorama.

In October and November of 2008, Nichols created three rangeland panoramas in Arizona to see if scientists could use the images to monitor riparian areas, wildlife or invasive plants. The resulting panoramas were so detailed that she could count the number of elk in a distant herd, and even evaluate the condition of each animal.

Nichols could also identify stands of invasive buffelgrass, which turns golden yellow in the fall and presents a striking contrast to surrounding vegetation. With this information in hand, it was possible to document the extent of the buffelgrass invasion in the Santa Catalina Mountains. This provided a baseline assessment of the plant's establishment that could be used to track its subsequent spread.

Researchers can share their panoramas by posting them on www.gigapan.org. Nichols is collaborating with other researchers to develop a website specifically for high-resolution rangeland panoramas.

Results from this work were published in 2009 in Rangeland Ecology & Management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Digital panoramas of rangelands could be rich source of research data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111814.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, September 20). Digital panoramas of rangelands could be rich source of research data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111814.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Digital panoramas of rangelands could be rich source of research data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111814.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) — Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) — A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins