The global network of outdoor webcams: Properties and applications

Nathan Jacobs, Walker Burgin, Nick Fridrich, Austin Abrams, Kylia Miskell, Bobby H. Braswell, Andrew D. Richardson, Robert Pless

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

There are thousands of outdoor webcams which offer live images freely over the Internet. We report on methods for discovering and organizing this already existing and massively distributed global sensor, and argue that it provides an interesting alternative to satellite imagery for global-scale remote sensing applications. In particular, we characterize the live imaging capabilities that are freely available as of the summer of 2009 in terms of the spatial distribution of the cameras, their update rate, and characteristics of the scene in view. We offer algorithms that exploit the fact that webcams are typically static to simplify the tasks of inferring relevant environmental and weather variables directly from image data. Finally, we show that organizing and exploiting the large, ad-hoc, set of cameras attached to the web can dramatically increase the data available for studying particular problems in phenology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2009
Pages111-120
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Event17th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2009 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2009Nov 6 2009

Publication series

NameGIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems

Conference

Conference17th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period11/4/0911/6/09

Keywords

  • Calibration
  • Camera network
  • Global
  • Metadata
  • Phenology
  • Webcam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Information Systems

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