Capturing Change: The Duality of Time-lapse Imagery to Acquire Data and Depict Ecological Dynamics
This article investigates the scientific and communicative value of time-lapse imagery by exploring applications for data collection and visualization. Time-lapse imagery has a myriad of possible applications to study and depict ecosystems and can operate at unique temporal and spatial scales to bridge the gap between large-scale satellite imagery projects and observational field research. Time-lapse data sequences, linking time-lapse imagery with data visualization, have the ability to make data come alive for a wider audience by connecting abstract numbers to images that root data in time and place. Utilizing imagery from the Platte Basin Timelapse Project, water inundation and vegetation phenology metrics are quantified via image analysis and then paired with passive monitoring data, including streamflow and water chemistry. Dynamic and interactive time-lapse data sequences elucidate the visible and invisible ecological dynamics of a significantly altered yet internationally important river system in central Nebraska.