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NACC Community Photo Monitoring in WA

Community concerns about coastal erosion led the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council, and NRM organisation in Gerladton, to initiate a community photo monitoring program to assist in coastal adaptation planning


Capturing landscape change over time by taking a series of photographs—known as photo-monitoring—is a useful tool for decision makers.  

An NRM group in Geraldton has teamed up with coastal councils and community volunteers to monitor more than 90 coastal sites between Guilderton and Kalbarri on the Mid West Coast region of Australia. At these sites, volunteers regularly take photos that are then uploaded to an online database. More than 10 000 photos have been added to date allowing decision makers to better understand coastal erosion as well as weed control.

A specially developed smartphone app, Photomon, makes field photo-monitoring easier for volunteers and citizen scientists, and also reduces the administrative burden usually associated with photo-monitoring programs.

The app includes immediate photo-labelling and upload. Its design helps ensure that all photos have a consistent field of view; this allows more accurate measurement of environmental change over time.