This excerpt from the technical note in the Burning Man Monitoring Report demonstrates how over 1,2000 GPS-enabled photos used to monitor and document week-long Burning Man event. Four Ricoh 500SE cameras were used to photo-documentation everything ‘good, bad or ugly’ at the event. The Ricoh cameras, combined with Geospatial Experts GPS-Photo Link and ESRI ArcGIS software made it possible to complete the 10 studies detailed in the Stipulation Monitoring Report.
1. Minimal training
Training for use of these cameras took less than 15 minutes. This was ideal for our team of mostly volunteers.
2. GPS-record the locations photographs were taken
The accuracy of this location is approximately 2-5 m. While this is not as accurate a location as the Trimble GPS units could record, it is sufficient for the Team’s purposes. The cameras do have the ability to record the location of the object photographed rather than the location of where the photograph was taken, however, the Team did not require this capability.
3. Record information about each photograph
Caplio’s List Editor software (which ships free with the camera) was used to create a data dictionary to ensure all information was collected in a standard way. Outlined below are the possible entries accessed via drop-down menus for each of the 5 data fields.
Field: Representative attribute values
Study: Art Project, Perimeter Fence, Trash transects
Stipulation: 19 – Art Burn, 32 – Perimeter Fence, 79 – Trash
Status: Good/Stip Met, Bad/Concern, Ugly/Violation, Other
First Digit: 1st digit of trash transect number (0-9)
Second Digit: 2nd digit of trash transect number (0-9)
4. Watermark photos with entered information
GPL-Photo Link generates a watermarked version of the photograph, which can be customized to display items such as -
Date and time
Or any of the 5 entered attributes
5. Transfer data to ArcGIS
GPL-Photo Link also generates a shapefile, a common ArcGIS file format.
Despite extreme temperatures and a brutal amount of alkaline playa dust, these cameras have continued to survive multiple Burning Man events, as well a year-round use for other projects including hundreds of miles of route inventories on ATVs and motorcycles.